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Heartbroken Over Closing of Wondrous Things

May 13, 2008

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
To the editor:

I am heartbroken! I just learned that Wondrous Things will be closing its Croton store at the end of June. I hope it’s because of the bad economy generally and that it has nothing to do with Croton customers—or lack thereof.

For years we’ve loved Wondrous Things and the impeccable taste displayed by both Donald and Scott in their choices of unique and unusual gifts. It’s been a key stop for birthday, wedding and gifts of all kinds. The service has always been extraordinary and the staff is super friendly and knowledgeable. They are always willing, if they don’t have exactly what one is looking for, to go the extra mile to help you find it. A truly treasured and appreciated shop that will be missed terribly!

This is truly a sad day for Croton. Thankfully, we can still go to their Briarcliff location but it won’t be the same as our “uptown special place.”

— Georgianna Grant

On December 31, 2008 11:29 AM, AP said:

A couple of things:

Could someone (yes…someone other than myself) please open something OTHER than a pizza place, nail salon, deli, or chinese food joint?

Apparently we like to eat in Croton…and with the glut of families with kids with 2 working parents (necessary to pay our obscenely and unnecessarily high property taxes), this town is dying for Thai, Greek, Tex/Mex, anything different…but whatever it is…it has to deliver.

Here’s a novel but unpopular idea…why don’t we actually let (more) niche franchises into Croton? It would certainly help our tax burden…and it would be nice to not have to travel to the Town Center or Briarcliff in order to get a cup of Starbucks. Sorry Black Cow, but your large is just not large enough to substantiate the cost.

Separately, we have to examine our legislature, municipality and police force pay roles. It is not enough for us to bring in businesses, we need to re-examine the town salary base and take aggressive measures to reduce our overhead. Funny how we can spend 15,000 dollars per household in taxes and we drive on streets with 15 some-odd patches between Zeytinia and the dummy light. And did we take the opportunity to bury our eyesore power lines when we dug up the street?

Whomever vetoed the use of the old Croton Dodge commercial space as a two story restaurant, shopping and residential space should be shot. It would have been a nice addition to Harmon. But apparently we don’t use logic in Croton politics. We just keep creating more ‘greenspace’ that one handful of people use (Probably the same handful of people that only pay 6000 a year in property taxes) and vetoing every good commercial space-creation idea that comes up.

Finally…we certainly didn’t need to spend the money we did for granite curbs along grand street across from the municiple building…have you seen the slope of the hill they’re holding up? They’ll be buried by erosion in a couple years. Brilliant use of tax payer money.

Logic please. Let’s start using it.

The first of many rants on Crotonblog. More to come. I’ve had it. - AP

On June 10, 2008 1:55 PM, greengurl said:

i’d like to add a gift shop that may go unnoticed to the mix.

LIFESTYLES by LISA’s is a little shop on 9A, near brook street, a few doors down from Ocean House. It has come in handy for me for last minute gift items, for myself and others.

clearly what each individual supports is a reflection of their personal taste and style therefore it may not appeal to all. trinkets is not for me, so i found a really nice alternative to keep my money going toward croton businesses.

on another note, restaurants that open in croton seem to be doing just fine. i would kill for another restaurant or 3.

On June 1, 2008 3:34 PM, weewill said:

NancyfromCroton has it right! We’ll always miss Wondrous Things but Trinkets is right across the street and indeed has unique and interesting gifts. Valerie is always cheerful and so much fun to gab with that I make sure I have enough time to catch up on Croton, family, friends and neighbors when I stop by. Her inventory gets better and more interesting each time I go in. She has wonderful ideas and as Nancy states, if she doesn’t have what you want in stock, she will go out of her way to find it.

She’s great and losing Wondrous Things in Croton should be a wakeup call for all of us. SHOP LOCALLY! You’ll be amazed at the treasures you can find!


On June 1, 2008 11:16 AM, NancyfromCroton said:

While the loss of Wondrous Things is a blow to Croton, there are still “wondrous things” to be had in the village. How many of you have checked out TRINKETS lately? Val doesn’t just have jewelry at all price points, but she sells some amazing gifts as well. I recently bought a “puppy” that breathes. It was the dream pet - cute, lifelike and you don’t have to walk it or clean up after it. My daughter’s 11-year-old friend loved it. Val also has handmade pottery, gorgeous crocheted shawls, frames, jewelry boxes and more. Recently, she started featuring jewelry from a couple of designers she likes. It’s beautiful and different. And, if you’re looking for something specific and she doesn’t have it, she’ll find it for you at a reasonable price…and you’re not obligated to buy it unless you love it. Obviously, I’m a fan, but TRINKETS is an undiscovered gem in Croton!

On May 24, 2008 9:52 PM, Tom said:

After talking with the owners of Wonderous Things today, it is because of the high vacancy rate of the town…now at 14 properties, as well as the market in Croton and the economy at the present time. Croton is in for a hard time, and I hope our awful mayor can figure out some incentives quickly as the vacancy rates just keep rising.

On May 22, 2008 4:52 PM, waffels said:

It’s interesting how people have all these great ideas and suggest that other people do them. No disrespect Tom but there are so many variables to Ocean House moving to Wondrous Things, first and foremost is money. I hear so many people throwing out ideas but it takes someone with the money, energy, personality, money, energy and mostly BIG HUEVOS!….This is a wonderful space in a wonderful community, someone will find it and hopefully start something great. These are some weird times and I have to imagine starting a new venture may scare off some of the brave entrepreneurs out there. We may just have to wait a little bit for the right thing.

On May 22, 2008 1:36 PM, Tom said:

Ideally, and if anyone knows the owners of Ocean House, they should take the opportunity of moving into main village in the spot of the original Wondrous Things, close the stairway up, or keep one side an oyster bar/pub and the other side the seating portion of the restaurant. I know the appeal of the Ocean House is the intimate feel of the former Little Red Diner, but it would be a fantastic breakfast spot if OH decided to move.

It would be a win-win for everyone and a solid tenant to rebuild the personality of the village.

  • T

On May 18, 2008 4:54 PM, Lisa from Groovy on Grand said:

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Mrs. Herbert & Mrs. Brennan’s combined sixth grade classes at the Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School. I was invited as “Franki’s Mom,” and co-owner of Groovy on Grand to talk to the students about opening a business. After our long discussion about all aspects of opening a store, I asked the kids what kind of shop they would open in Croton. Here are some of their answers. Shoe store, candy store, bakery, sporting goods, airport. Ok, maybe an airport isn’t the best idea, but the rest of them are great ideas! So if you have been contemplating opening a business in Croton, there’s no better time than the present. Don’t forget to support your local businesses.

On May 17, 2008 3:54 PM, dors said:

Thank you Donald and Scott for your years with us in Croton. Great store and I’m very sad to see you go. Note to all blog readers - SHOP IN CROTON! Exchange cash and pleasantries in every single store every single day. Feel shame every time you drive out of Croton to buy something you could have purchased in your home town.

On a lighter note could someone please open a bakery in the space left by D&S? Please?

Susan Dorien

On May 15, 2008 10:04 PM, Andrea of Groovy on Grand said:

We too will truly miss Wondrous Things and was saddened and shocked when we received the postcard yesterday. I’ve shopped there regularly for the last 14 years and, since opening Groovy on Grand, have been their diagonal neighbor for the past two years. Donald welcomed us warmly as a neighboring shop when we opened, and my kids enjoyed running across the street to pick up gifts and goodies from Wondrous Things, while I was working at our shop. Donald had great taste and a terrific selection. We’ll miss that store so very much.

I truly worry as well how it will affect our’s and all other neighboring businesses. That is a huge space to be empty, and fear it may be empty for quite a long time, as so many other spaces are available right now. We fear the upper Village will start looking Ghost-town-ish if persons with fresh business ideas don’t go ahead and try them. I encourage any other persons considering at looking to start a business in Croton- to come by Groovy on Grand and ask us about our experience. The village board helped us a great deal and was very speedy with all approval processes when we were starting our shop. Please don’t let the word on the street that it’s impossible to get a business going here in Croton stop you! The Village board and Croton residents, are supportive and excited for new businesses! They made it easy for us!

Donald, we truly wish you wouldn’t go!! You and your shop will be greatly missed in Croton! Thanks for the years you were here and thanks for your support! We’ll miss you!!! And we wish you the best of luck.

On May 15, 2008 7:59 PM, BCCroton said:

There are no tax incentives for a business renting a space. The building owners get the incentive. That is a great space and any ambitious ready to create entrepreneur would be smart to take it. Small business is very a very tough life and not for everyone. Bravo to Donald and Scott for all their years it was a wonderful addition to this village and I believe someone else will come along and scap up that space. My juices flow just thinking of the possibilities…..Michael Grant

On May 15, 2008 2:03 PM, Tom said:

..Just another vacant property in Croton :(….this village is/has really gone down hill in terms of ingenuity of the stores. It is either a barber shop, deli, pizza place or nail salon. Something needs to be done soon, or at least offer tax incentives to local businesses attempting to start in Croton.

On May 15, 2008 7:37 AM, TeaDrinker said:

According to the postcard sent to me from Wondrous Things that announces their store closing, they note that a clearance sale will begin today, May 15th.

The sale will include items like handbags, accessories, Vera Bradley, clothing, jewelry, stationary, toys and more—at 20% to 70% off.

Wondrous Things also notes that while cash and credit cards are accepted, all sales are final.


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