Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Meet Your Merchant - Calico Toys and Games

Name Of Business:  Calico Toys & Games
Location:  212 S. Talbot St
Phone number:410-745-6229
Hours of operation:
10:00am-5:30pm Sunday – Thursday
10:00am-6:00pm Friday & Saturday

Who are the owners?
Brad & Pamela Fout

How and why you started your business?
We purchased Calico Gallery in 2001 after Brad retired from Lucent Technologies. At that time, Calico was a large gallery of framed Chesapeake oriented art downstairs and a great toy store upstairs. It was also the highest quality Custom Framing shop in Talbot County. It was also our favorite business to visit when we were tourists.

So, we didn't actually start Calico Gallery, we just wanted to improve on one of the oldest retail traditions in St. Michaels.   After doubling sales after the first six years, we were hit by the recession. The “Framed Art” part of the business took a huge dive – folks stopped buying expensive pieces off the wall. So, instead of shutting down, we re-engineered the business to primarily all toys and children’s books.
Fun and Educational toys, books and games, too!

Though we do not advertise Custom Framing, we have kept almost all of our high level customers and actually added many through referrals.
The Framing Shop

What do you sell/make/do?
Calico Toys and Games offers fun, educational and retro toys, games and puzzles for Infant to 99!
We specialize in children's books, framed art and Celebrate St. Michaels posters from the St Michaels Art League. Brad makes all of the custom framed art.

The Fun Place in St. Michaels!
Where is your business located and why did you choose your location?
We're located at 212 S. Talbot Street, a brightly painted two story building, colored in fun primary colors, blue, red and yellow, in the center of the shopping district.  Look for our many toy displays out front!

What strategy do you use to draw people to your establishment?
We're always using local advertising, discount coupons and programs, throughout the year.  We also consider offering the best selection and customer experience possible for repeat customers and to help with word of mouth advertising. 

What is your strategy for growth in the next year?
Keep providing the largest selection of the best Toys, Games, Puzzles and children’s books under one roof on the Eastern Shore. Push shopping local via coupon mailers, and local discounts.
Games Galore!
What is the best thing about running a business here?
It is a beautiful place where people love to visit, so for the most part your customers are happy and excited to be here. It is especially nice when your business becomes a part of the customer’s tradition.
Calico Toys and Games...educational fun, like this puppet show.

1 comment:

  1. We shop here whenever we are in St Michael's. Get lot's of books and toys for our grand children for Christmas and birthdays. Also pop pop's secret "toy closet" that all the grand kids know about. Very nice people and a terrific selection. Nice to see a toy store in town.