An East Hull man’s long-held ambition to open his own toy store has come to fruition.
Self-proclaimed “geek” Gavin Rosenquest started Toys ‘n’ Stuff with his wife, Julianne, after pinning all their hopes and plunging their hard-earned life savings into the business.
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The shop, at 341 Holderness Road, was officially opened on Saturday September 11 by the couple’s youngest son Broady, eight, who cut the ribbon to declare the business open.
Gavin, who grew up on the town’s Longhill estate and now lives on Bilton Grange, said: ‘Toys ‘n’ Stuff is a family store, our very first store and a lifelong dream.
“You have to start somewhere and we want this to be our first store, not our only store.”
Gavin, who also has sons aged 22 and 16, previously worked as an operations manager but always wanted to work for himself.
“When I walk around town, I never go to clothing stores, I always drift to toy stores, being the geek that I am.
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“With existing stores, I’ve found that I never get the same magical feeling I had when I was a kid walking into a toy store. Everything feels generic.
“We wanted to create a toy store where children look around and feel the same excitement.
“I remember when I was going to a toy store, I might look at the same thing two or three times on visits, planning where I was going to get the money to buy it from.”
Toys ‘n’ Stuff will stock everything to interest all ages “from a three-month-old to a 47-year-old who loves He-Man or Ghostbusters,” Gavin said.
“We decided to actively offer a selection of toys and games that allow children and parents to play together again.”
Action figures, creative toys and preschool educational toys are all part of the offer.
The store will ask customers for feedback on what it stocks and offer a wishlist where customers can leave requests for what they would like to see on sale.
When it opened, Toys ‘n’ Stuff offered free goody bags and balloons for children and free chewing gum for adults.
“We also stock a range of American sweets in the shop,” said Gavin, who invited Hull East MP Karl Turner to the opening event.
“If I walk into my store and don’t feel the same buzz of excitement I felt as a kid, then I’ve failed.”