A letter on behalf of a small mom and pop business: The Toy Shoppe of Setauket.
My wife Shari and I (Michael) had some big dreams for our little store. It seemed to be one of those things the neighborhood really wanted. And with some flair, we opened . We learned so many things in such a short time, and we are somewhat grateful for the experience.
Here is the biggest lesson we learned:
This town, like many other Long Island towns, does not support its local stores. Many people in the town refused to step foot in the store for reasons we can’t put a finger on. The sentiment we got was that because we were small, we had to be overpriced. While true we were small, we held our line on price and service the big boys would have been jealous of. We did have a few regulars, and we loved serving them. They will be missed dearly.
If Long Islanders, and Three Village residents do not open their eyes, they will be without so many small stores they expect to find when they need them. It’s not always about price (so you might pay a dollar more for that bag of dog food, or that gift for a loved one) but about the service you get and the knowledge we lend. Try asking Target, Walmart, or Toys R Us to wrap all of your gifts for you at the holiday season, or for that discount (“Can you do a little better on this?" was a very popular line in our store) you don’t really need but feel the urge to ask for. They will probably look at you in shock. We decided to take our wares and our experience and energy to North Carolina, where the mom and pop shop is still alive and well. Thank you for your patronage, for those of you who did shop with us.
Michael and Shari Zuckerman, The Toy Shoppe
P.S. If you are ever in Holly Springs, N.C., look us up! Our store will be opening this year.