It’s not every day that someone asks if he can propose to his girlfriend in your store — and it’s certainly rare if you own the world’s only all-penguin merchandising outlet. So owner Eric Bennett of Penguin Place knew he had a chance for a once-in-a-lifetime event.
“If anything, it gave me an excuse to clean up,” said Bennett, whose warehouse is on Water Street in DUMBO.
But Bennett did far more than that, turning his penguin-filled storeroom into a romantic getaway (romantic if you love Gentoos, that is).
The groom-to-be, Daniel Raymond, 21, came all the way from London to propose to his now-fiancée — and penguin devotee — Rachel Jacobs, 19, a New Jersey resident. Raymond planned the big day months ago when he contacted Bennett about setting up the proposal in the store, which is really just a backroom in Bennett’s DUMBO apartment.
Bennett put up as much penguin paraphernalia as he could in anticipation of the couple’s arrival. When Daniels and her sweetheart arrived, she was overcome. And The Brooklyn Paper was there.
“This is like heaven. I’ve never seen so many penguins in my life,” she exclaimed.
Daniels popped the question and offered a ring in a penguin-shaped box. Next, it was time for celebrating with eight of their friends and Bennett’s family.
“I hope they have lots of kids,” Bennett said. “Kids that like penguins.”