Stop us if you’ve heard this one… A local walks into a bar with a gift and tells the bartender to stuff it into a balloon. Confused? Then a trip to Dream Factory Balloons in Kenilworth is in order.

The store at 492 Boulevard offers shoppers a unique experience at its Balloon Bar, where they like to say you “can pick your design, choose your balloon and make someone’s day even more special.”

“Anything you need regarding a balloon, you know where to go,” said Kenilworth resident Dante Longhi, an award-winning balloon designer and the owner of Dream Factory Balloons.

Opened last summer, the shop specializes in balloon arrangements, party decor and custom designs for businesses. It can even take gifts bought elsewhere and insert them into a decorative, filled balloon {hence the joke above}.

In a recent interview, Longhi said when he works with clients he draws inspiration from a number of places.

“I grew up in a birthday party business, so kids’ channels and toy stores are my favorite. For corporate clients, their website is the best inspiration,” explained Longhi.

Dream Factory Balloons offers free in-store consultations.

Photo courtesy Dream Factory Balloons