This past year brought nine new stores to Chestnut Hill

by Courtney O’Neill, Executive Director, Chestnut Hill Business District
Posted 1/3/24

In Chestnut Hill, we are fortunate to have a walkable, green, charming commercial corridor -- our “Main Street,” Germantown Avenue.

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This past year brought nine new stores to Chestnut Hill


In Chestnut Hill we are fortunate to have a walkable, green, charming commercial corridor. Our “Main Street,”, Germantown Avenue, is one of the prettiest around.  The hard work of the business community, property, and business owners, in tandem with the staff of the Chestnut Hill Business District is what keeps Chestnut Hill green, vibrant and beautiful.

At the heart of our commercial district are our small businesses with their entrepreneurial spirit and dedicated vision.  As you travel up Germantown Avenue from Cresheim Valley to Chestnut Hill Avenue and then circle back up Bethlehem Pike, your journey will bring you past nearly 200 independent businesses of all types.  In 2023, we welcomed nine new businesses to the neighborhood, all with a consistent story: The owners were fulfilling a long-held dream.  

Cider Belly Hard Cider (8005 Germantown Ave) represented the fruition of owners Kim & Matt Vendeville’s passion for small-batch craft dry cider using locally sourced, fresh earth-grown ingredients. Their attention to detail shows in everything they do; and they have created a must-visit taproom that is attracting cider lovers from all over the region.

Multiverse (8026 Germantown Ave) is the brick-and-mortar encapsulation of owners Gralin Hughes, Jr’s and Sara Zia Ebrahimi Hughes’ shared love for speculative fiction – comic books, fantasy, and horror.  Gralin and Sara dreamt of a space that celebrated fans of the genre and welcomed everyone no matter their background or level of interest. Multiverse is that place. It is quickly becoming a destination for fans of all ages from around the area.

Little Wares (8117 Germantown Ave) is Kristin Leader Ramirez vision about product design, production, ethical consumption, parenting, and community come to life. Kristen’s mindfully curated children’s store focuses on products that are eco-friendly, genderless, intentional and people-friendly. 

Dr. Gina Charles has combined her personal skincare experience, medical knowledge, and passion for self-care into Serenity Aesthetics & Wellness, which she uses as a medium to address skincare concerns and provide clients with a holistic approach to beauty. (8133 Germantown Avenue)

Maura and Kris Harris brought Ember (8432 Germantown Ave) to life in a location Maura knew well. Growing up in Chestnut Hill, as a teenager Maura worked in The Candle Shop located in the same exact space that Ember now occupies. Maura always dreamed of having her own shop and over the last decade developed a passion for holistic living that she has lovingly and artfully incorporated into Ember.

Jennifer Spaeth had been part of the retail community for years as manager of Noble Goods. But it wasn’t until the owner decided to retire, that Jenny realized her dream was to open her own store. And thus, Laëte was born.  While Laëte is inspired by its predecessor, Jennifer has gracefully and elegantly transformed it—the merchandise mix, the physical space, and the mood—to reflect her own voice and point of view. (8436 Germantown Ave)

Char & Stave owner Jared Adkins dreamed of opening his own distillery and launched Bluebird Distilling in Phoenixville in 2015. Next, he added coffee roasting to his repertoire, which led him to create Char & Stave, his flagship day-into-evening cafe and cocktail venue in Ardmore. And now he’s brought Char & Stave to 8441 Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill, where it’s received an enthusiastic welcome.

El Limon, the beloved regionally sited Mexican restaurant, has come to Chestnut Hill.  Property owner and entrepreneur Sanjiv Jain and his wife, Becky Jain, loved El Limon’s food and had the perfect spot, with lots of room for outdoor seating. They may not have had a life-long dream to open a restaurant, but when an opportunity arose, they were led by their vision and spirit to grab it. Our locals and visitors are pleased that they did. (8612 Germantown Ave)

Rounding out the 2023 openings, Smell the Curry debuted in the spring at Market at the Fareway. (8221 Germantown Ave)