INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - Locals and visitors of Incline Village alike know when they need to pick up a toy, puzzle, gift or party favors, Village Toys is the place to go.
The shop, owned by Susan and Blake Goldenberg, opened in 2008 and has been a staple in town since. Joined with an ice cream shop, and it's a children's favorite.
"Locals really like (the store)," Goldenberg said. "They appreciate that there's a toy store in town."
The Goldenbergs originally bought the ice cream store, called Susie Scoops, in May 2008. Soon after taking over, they realized the small store next to the ice cream parlor was vacant, and decided to open a toy store. Blake had experience owning toy stores in Southern California, and thought ice cream and toys were a natural fit.
"We thought it would be a good mix to put toys and ice cream together," he said.
Located in the heart of Incline Village, the shop allows residents and visitors to pick up a toy or gift for children of all ages without driving to Reno or Carson City. Goldenberg, who has a background of 25 years working in the toy industry, takes pride in the wide variety of toys he packs into the 500 square foot shop.
From Legos to Hello Kitty to puzzles, Goldenberg stocks the shelves with toys for all ages. There are educational books, as well as Hula hoops, Frisbees and infant toys. There are also retro toys, science kits and board games.
"We carry a lot in a small space," Goldenberg added.
Goldenberg explained that he tries to carry a variety of items in the store, including older, classic toys.
"We have things you won't find in Walmart," he said. "We hit every category for toys for all age groups."
Goldenberg added that if the store doesn't have quite what you're looking for, they are more than happy to order the item for you. With 25 years of experience in the industry, Goldenberg explained he has a lot of contacts in the toy world and can track down whatever a customer needs.
Village Toys offers wish lists for kids, allowing them to walk through the store and write down items they want. The list is then kept on file in the store, so when relatives or friends are looking for gifts, they can reference the list the child created. Children often stop by to update the list throughout the year as well, Goldenberg added. Since the store is constantly getting new items, it's a good idea to stop by often.
The shop has become a part of the community, assisting with various charity events throughout the year, as well as becoming a favorite stop for children. Goldenberg added that he often sees children grow up as they visit the store, whether they be locals who stop by weekly, or visitors who come to town every summer.
"I get to see them as they grow," Goldenberg said. "It's a pit stop when they come to town ... It's neat to see the kids transition and grow."
Goldenberg added that working with children is one of his favorite parts of the job.
"Seeing children's happy faces, and the fact that they get so excited to show mom and dad what they want," he said of the perks of his job.
This fall, Village Toys is taking part in the Toys for Tots campaign. The shop is a drop off location for Toys for Tots throughout the fall. On November 17, Village Toys is hosting a Toys for Tots event, with local Marines. The store will be honoring those who donate on that day with free ice cream for every donation.