Leap Frog

East Side institution, Frog and Toad, opens second shop on Westminster Street

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Frog and Toad, that funky little gift shop on Hope Street, has taken a leap: A second location opened on the West End this fall. The style is still eclectic, but the setting reflects a different – well – headspace.

“I like to describe it as our left brain and right brain locations,” says owner Asher Schofield, who opened the store 17 years ago. “You’ll find the displays on Hope Street more color-coded and vignette-inspired, while [Westminster Street] is designed as more of your turn-of-the-century hardware store.”

Although you shouldn’t entirely rule out finding some crafty home-project supplies, Frog and Toad’s style is better described as mercantile-meets-unconventional. Tucked cozily next to the beloved White Electric coffee shop, the quirky gift store’s newest dwelling boasts high ceilings and long wooden walkways. Customers are encouraged to browse.

Not everything has changed. You can still find all the same Frog and Toad classics: laugh-out-loud greeting cards and stationery, hand-made toiletries, and every kind of Rhode Island swag. Schofield and his wife Erin work as a team, deciding together what lines their walls and shelves (and occasionally spills onto the floor), and the new space allows their unique vision to be reinterpreted.

“Every year we put out a newsletter, and every year the only constructive criticism we received was, ‘I wish there was more room,’” Schofield explains. “This space was, in large, a response to that.”

And when the opportunity arose, the Schofields pounced on it. Between the whirlwind of proposed business plans, demolition, and the efforts of their community, the pair turned their dream of a bigger space for Frog and Toad into a reality – within the year.

Frog and Toad’s selection is largely made up of the work of Providence’s creative community: screen-printed goods, handcrafted jewelry, and a line of hand-drawn and hand-lettered cards under Frog and Toad Press based right here in Rhode Island. However, their most unique addition is one Schofield has percolated for a while: a multi-purpose vending machine offering sundries. Dig out a little cash, and you can purchase seaweed snacks, headphones, pregnancy tests, and snacks for under a buck.

Schofield, an artist himself, is constantly looking for the next “neat thing” to debut at Frog and Toad. “I’ve always held the ideal that if you’re not growing and changing, you’re stagnating,” Schofield says. “Plus, I’ve always wanted to own a store with a ping-pong table.”