After almost 30 years, The Toy Box is closing on December 22. The Toy Box originally opened in 1987, and has been important to the North Asheville community. Why is it closing? Gary Green, The Toy Box owner, has wanted to retire and sell The Toy Box to a new owner for almost 5 years but has not been able to find a buyer. It has been hard for Mr. Green to find a buyer because toy stores around the U.S. are going out of business, such as Toys R Us. (Why are they going out of business? Online shopping?) The Toy Box was always a place that my mom and I would go to get a last minute gift on our way to a birthday party. Many people are sad to see the Toy Box close and it will be missed.
On the Mountain Xpress website, there is a short story of someone that moved to Weaverville 14 years ago. He said that Mr. Green always made them feel welcome, and he and his kids would play there for hours. He is sad that he can´t shop for his future grandkids there, but says Green´s retirement is well deserved. Another review by Thomas Graser says, ¨Best place to buy toys - period!¨
I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Green and ask him some questions! When Mr. Green decided to buy The Toy Box, he says it was because he wanted a business of is own and he thought a toy store would be a good one. Mr. Green said that one of his favorite parts of owning The Toy Box was seeing sick kids that would come to The Toy Box after their treatments. He was happy that those kids had somewhere to relieve their stress after going through a difficult time. He also told me that after 9,125 days (25 years) in the business, he plans to retire and catch up on the chores he’s been too busy to do that last 25 years such as, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, raise money for Alzeihmers disease research, and spend time with his family. “I don’t think I ever realized how much joy a child gets from being in a toy store… that’s something that I’ll cherish for a long time,” Mr. Gary Green.
Until December 22nd (when the Toy Box closes) everything in the store will be 10% to 50% off! I walked by The Toy Box the other day and saw that almost everything was gone so if you need something go soon! I wish someone would buy The Toy Box from Mr. Green and keep it the way it is! I want kids even younger than me to have the same experience that I did, because you don’t see many small stores like the Toy Box that the people there will help you find the perfect gift. I think that it is a good piece of the community and is also convenient. Although I understand Mr. Green must retire, I hope somebody new will come along and keep it as it is or even make it better.
Story by Tate Lloyd