For the last decade, the Shop on the Pike has brought smiles to shoppers’ faces with whimsical and delightful inventory.
“I just love it here,” said Wendy Martinez, a senior administrative assistant in the Center for Advanced Heart Diseases and devoted customer of the shop and its previous incarnation for 18 years. “The team is amazing, and there are always new, fun items to explore.”
This month, the shop celebrates the tenth anniversary of its opening on the Tower 2 mezzanine.
“We are a part of the Brigham community and, over the years, we’ve become the place many people will turn to when they want to escape for a few minutes during their day,” said Patrick Lally, who has served as retail services manager of the Shop on the Pike since it opened. “It’s wonderful to see so many familiar faces visit our shop every day. Our customers are loyal, and they’re one of the biggest reasons I love working here.”
Lally said the best part of his day is when he hears customers laugh as they browse through merchandise. He knows many people are going through difficult times when they visit the hospital, so he and his team try to keep the atmosphere, and the merchandise, light and happy.
The Brigham’s original gift shop opened in 1944 and was located near the Emergency Department. Over the years, the Shop on the Pike has transformed from selling medical supplies, such as breastfeeding equipment, to more “gift shop”-type items, such as Brigham gear, greeting cards, toys, jewelry, candy and flowers. In addition, the shop carries necessity goods, such as toothbrushes, tissues, ibuprofen and phone chargers.
Store manager Gabina Gonzalez said working at the gift shop for the last 14 years has been an “amazing journey.”
“What we do is so much more than working behind the counter,” Gonzalez said. “Sometimes, we are the first people that patients and their families will visit when they come to the hospital. They rely on us not only for our merchandise but also for our friendship. For me, that means everything.”
Jonathan Santiago, director of Materials Management, congratulated the team on 10 terrific years: “The Shop on the Pike staff continue to go above and beyond to help customers find that special gift that will leave a moment of joy in someone’s heart.”
Lally said the staff’s commitment to exceptional service is a defining characteristic of the team. “We always go the extra mile to help our customers,” he said. “It’s who we are.”