The New Canaan Toy Store is set to reopen soon following a major renovation that will see the popular Park Street shop brighter and easier to navigate, its owners say.
Closed since the end of July, the Toy Store will reopen within the next week, according to Annie Hedrick, who co-owns the business with her brother, Nathan Shapiro.
“We can’t wait to see everybody, we can’t wait to welcome everybody back,” Hedrick told NewCanaanite.com. “All the familiar faces will be there, Suzie and Maria, and it will be better than ever. You’ll be able to see the toys and move around better, and we made more space by getting rid of an office area to make more room for books and toys. So we can’t wait.”
Her family, which owns The Toy Post in Westport, bought the New Canaan Toy Store in 2018 from Chris Kilbane, who had owned it for 22 years.
They’ve had a renovation in mind for a while, Hedrick said, but the physical work had to be put off repeatedly for different reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This has been in progress for a long time, but we didn’t have to actively shut down the store and start renovating until [the end of] July,” she said. “Ever since we took on the store three years ago, we knew it needed to be renovated. Shelves falling down, the rug was stained and torn, ceiling tiles falling out. It needs to be done. We wanted to wait and see and make informed decisions about changes, feel it out.”
What awaits Toy Store patrons is a “modern, airy” space with “clean lines,” Hedrick said.
“Fresh and clean,” she said.
“We just wanted to be shop-able, appealing to adults as well as kids, and approachable,” Hedrick said. “We want people to be able to fit in with a stroller, kind of getting away from the old-fashioned nooks and crannies—which can be be quaint—but we wanted a very different kind of feel. We want people to see the toys, for them to pop out.”
Laura Budd, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, said the organization “is looking forward to the reopening of the New Canaan Toy Store later this month.”
“The Shapiro Family has done a remarkable job since taking the business over a few years ago and this renovation is exciting news for the town, we love to see this level of investment in our community,” she said.
Hedrick said she’s hoping the Toy Store becomes more of a destination for patrons, rather than somewhere customers stop in quickly to grab something.
“Sort of ‘let’s visit the Toy Store and hang out, it feels good in there,’ ” she said. “We want it to be a great shopping experience for kids and families.”