A new toy shop is opening this weekend on Main Street in downtown Stillwater.
Gammy and Gumpy’s, A Kidcentric Oasis — owned by Kelly Costa-Daly (Gammy) and her husband John Daly (Gumpy) — is set to open at 10 a.m. Friday, May 22 at 122 South Main St. (in the former Country Charm Antiques space).
The store will carry a variety of kids toys and gifts (ages 0 – 10 years) that are all either made, produced, or based in the United States, with an emphasis on being educational, eco-friendly, gender-neutral and for children with special needs, Kelly said.
The Dalys decided to open the toy store after suddenly losing their dear friend, Scott Zahren.
“That one hit home — it hurt,” John said. “Sometimes you hit a crossroads, and you decide to act on it… I worked in the restaurant industry for 29 years and 9 months. You do something for 30 years … and there comes a time — I paid my dues. Now I want to spend time with my wife and our grandchild. And who doesn’t want to work in a toy shop?”
“We decided life was too short for the overworked, too-busy lifestyle we were living,” Kelly said. “We asked ourselves, ‘What were we passionate about?’ And without hesitation we both answered, our 2-year old grandson, Charlie.”
John and Kelly decided to quit their jobs in early-April, and jump in head-first to try and open the store within 30 days.
While “over spoiling” their grandson, Kelly said she and John noticed “there was a lack of real quality toys that we could purchase locally,” and they didn’t have as much fun taking Charlie to the big box retailers to pick something out.
So the idea is that Gammy and Gumpy’s will have an evolving selection of wooden toys, puzzles, games, books, train sets, dress up toys, puppets, and more Kelly said.
“We aren’t carrying anything electronic or battery-operated,” she said. “These are toys for kids to play with, not to watch.”
The Dalys hope to fill a niche by adding to the things that are already available in downtown Stillwater.
“Valley Bookseller has a great selection of kids books, Alfresco has a beautiful toy section, and Kari’s Create and Paint Studio has great events,” John said. “We’ve purposely chosen to try and carry different lines of toys, different books, and different types of events. Competition in small business is good, so we’d rather be complementary within that genre.”
There’s a convenience factor to Gammy and Gumpy’s, too.
Every area of the store will be kid and stroller friendly. There will also be hourly stroller rental for tired little legs — grandpa is on his own — and complimentary diaper changing stations with real changing tables and diaper genies, a calming area for feeding or nursing, and a unisex restroom available to all families.
“When we were out with Charlie, we also realized what a challenge it was when we needed a quick-change pit stop,” Kelly said.
Gammy and Gumpy’s will also be a place to find those forgotten essentials that could affect a family’s day downtown such as diapers and wipes, bottles, pacifiers, sunscreen, sippy cups, and well, you get the idea.
In the fall, the plan is to begin having special events and classes during the week such as storytime with Grandma, build a birdhouse with Grandpa, tea party with Daddy, Kelly said. There will also be special times and events for parents and grandparents with special needs children where they can be surrounded with fun, safe activities geared towards their unique talents and challenges.
“One idea is to have storytime for autism-spectrum children where the book is textural and the children can run and squeal and touch within a supportive environment.” Kelly said.
“This is truly a kid-friendly store where adults must be accompanied by a child.”
Gammy and Gumpy’s will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.
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