Nok-hockey, hula hoops and hop scotch were among the various activities that took loyal customers back in time at 65th anniversary celebration on Saturday.
Over 500 customers from the tri-state area, both young and old, came to show their loyalty and support for the nostalgic candy and toy store in New Hyde Park.
The celebration, which offered egg creams, give-a-ways and autographs from 60s singing group Randy and the Rainbows, "Takes you back in time to your childhood memories,” said Stacy Getzel of Bayside.
Another participant, John Maher, who came to the shop for the first time with his 4 grandsons to join in on the old-fashioned fun, said of the event “It’s very nice."
Phyllis Waller of Queens agreed. “This is fabulous, it’s just so cute. I like the feel with the kids."
The hundreds of people in attendance throughout the day are “not just customers, they’re our friends,” Owners Eileen Caplin-Wysel and husband Ronnie said, adding, “We truly love what we do. This is more than a business to us, it is our family legacy.”
The general store, attached to the family’s auto repair shop that Caplin-Wysel’s parents opened in 1946, was a convenience shop. Later in 1993, Caplin-Wysel and her husband decided to turn the general store into an escape to simpler times by selling nostalgic toys and candy.
They’re able to stay in business amid a tough economy because “People trust them and know that they’re honest, good people,” employee Mike Realson said.
Eileen’s secret for staying in business for so long?
“My parents always said just give people an honest count and treat them fairly,” she recalled.