Alphabet Soup ~ Greta Pearl

Meet Greta Perl ~ Manager at Alphabet Soup

Ithaca’s Greta Perl loves to be where the action is, so it’s no surprise she’s the manager of Alphabet Soup, a children’s toy store on the Commons that’s typically abuzz with children enjoying some type of activity. And, you can usually find Perl joining in on the fun.

“Alphabet Soup is simply a fun place to be,” says Perl, who has worked at the toy shop for the last decade. She enjoys hearing customer’s stories about the child(ren) they’re shopping for and helping them find the perfect gift for that person.

She also loves sharing a tale or two with the younger clientele.

“I love reading children’s books – they’re not just for kids – and I’ve been trying to write some of my own. I’ve read almost every book in the Alphabet Soup book corner, so if you’re looking for something good for yourself – or your kids – just ask me,” says Perl.

For more than 30 years, Alphabet Soup is fully stock with many beloved children’s items: a library of children’s books by award-winning authors, a grand selection of stylish locally made baby and toddler clothing, many cute and cuddly stuffed animals, a collection of children’s tunes produced by local and national artists, a variety of puzzles and games, a grouping of quality made puppets, and, of course, toys! Lots and lots of recreational and educational toys!

“I curate our collection carefully, so we only have the good stuff. Excellent quality, good prices, and safe materials. So, you can save yourself a lot of time wandering the aisles of a big box store or sifting through a million online reviews. I’ve already done that work for you. I’m also finding more and more locally made or American made toys, toys made from recycled materials or sustainable wood. In my own little way, I’m trying to make the world a better place,” says Perl.

Alphabet Soup’s nationally made classic and modern toys include brands such as Aerobie, Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty Green Toys, Harrisville Designs, Just Jump It, Ruby Red Face Paint, and many more.

“Everywhere you look in Alphabet Soup, there’s something unusual, silly or interesting. And, don’t tell the kids, but a lot of the products are secretly educational, too,” says Perl.

You can find out more about Ms. Perl and Alphabet Soup by visiting the shop at 171 E. State St. (Center Ithaca).  Alphabet Soup is also on Facebook and recently started an Instagram.

The Faces of Downtown Ithaca

Some say the best referrals come from trusted family and friends. In Downtown Ithaca, quality recommendations often come from speaking directly to our hospitable downtown business owners and managers. Afterall, who knows their business best than the business owner themselves.

Welcome to Faces of Downtown Ithaca where we’ll give you an insider’s look at downtown’s shops, let you meet your shopkeepers, and restaurateurs who provide this area with some of the finest shopping, dining, and attractions that the Finger Lakes Region has to offer.

Not only do these folks work here, but they also dine, shop, and play here. Many of them also live here, too! This is their Downtown Ithaca and now, they are sharing some of their histories with you.