Since announcing they were closing Frog Pond Toys, owners Mary Langley and Lynn Gleeson have received a flood of calls, emails and walk-ins from people expressing their regret and appreciation.

“They said they were surprised, they were sad, they were disappointed, they really enjoyed having us,” Gleeson said. “We got lots of emotional emails.

But after four years on State Street in Lake View Village, Gleeson and Langley said they had no choice but to close their doors this week. In the age of the Internet and big box stores, it is hard for a small toy store to stay in business.

“We have lots of people telling us they’re sorry we’re leaving,” Langley said. “But we weren’t making enough money to stay afloat. It’s hard for a small-ticket item like toys to stand alone. It’s hard to pay the overhead.”

Frog Pond is the third toy store in Lake Oswego to close in recent years, even though Langley and Gleeson said they tried hard to differentiate their store from previous toy stores by offering a play area and café.

“There have been a lot of new cafés opening around here,” Langley said. “There’s a lot of competition. That’s good, but not for us.”

“It has been a struggle all four years here,” Gleeson said. “We didn’t realize how much it would take to make our money back. Finally, we had to be grown up about it and realize that was it.”

While the public has decided that bigger is better even when it comes to toys, Lake Oswego shoppers will no longer have the kind of experience they got at Frog Pond Toys.

“They liked our play area,” Langley said. “They liked to sit and visit in our café. I think they enjoyed our employees. They liked getting advice about toys.”

Since deciding to close, Langley and Gleeson have been selling their merchandise at a 40-percent discount, and “all of our toys are almost gone,’ Langley said. The colorful little toy store will probably be empty when it closes Friday.

Still, there is a happy ending to this story. Both women live in Lake Oswego and both have kids in middle school.

“Now we have time for our families again,” Langley said.

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine