Meet your merchant: Escott Place in Grass Valley the go-to spot for dancers of all ages
160 S. Auburn St., Grass Valley
Facebook: Escott Place
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday
If you don’t know Delores Jones, you probably aren’t a dancer.
As owner of Escott Place in Grass Valley, the go-to place for dance wear, Jones has watched generations of dancers grow up, then bring their own children through her doors for that first leotard or tutu.
“The 2-year-olds are the most fun,” she said. “You should see their eyes light up when they come in and see all the glitz.”
The 550-square-foot shop boasts an impressive inventory for its size, complete with a small stage, mirror and ballet barre. In a town known for its broad range of performing arts, Jones makes it her mission to keep in stock the basics for every style, such as tap, modern, ballroom, ballet, clogging, belly dancing — even martial arts and Taiko. Tucked in the back of Pioneer Village shopping center on South Auburn Street, Jones is not overly concerned about the lack of impromptu foot traffic in her shop, as Escott Place is clearly a “destination business,” and word-of-mouth is her best form of advertising.
A native of Sacramento, she started her family in Milpitas before moving to Grass Valley in the late 1970s. Her three children — two daughters and one son — all graduated from Nevada Union High School. After two of her children went off to serve in the armed forces, all eventually landed back in Nevada County. Today she has a total of nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
“I am so blessed to have the family I do,” said Jones. “That’s why I’m so eager to give back to my community.”
When Jones is not in her shop, spending time with family or at church, she’s volunteering as a court-appointed special advocate, as part of a program that supports abused or neglected children who are most often in the foster care system.
Years ago, Jones owned a store called Sweats, Etc., on West Main Street, where she sold clothing in the front and dance wear in the back. She also opened a linen store on Mill Street with the name of the store she has now, Escott Place. Life was busy, but when her husband Dick grew ill, she opted to downsize. He passed away 13 years ago.
“Dick taught me to slow down and enjoy life,” said Jones. “Now I walk in the morning for an hour. When you nurture your own soul, you’re able to give more. Escott was his middle name.”
For those who miss Jones’ linen shop, she still carries a small selection of her much-sought-after French soaps, which can be found at the counter with a few other whimsical accessories.
But by looking around the store, it’s clear Jones has given a lot to Nevada County’s dance community. Her walls are covered with photos of local dancers and she’s been known to attend performances featuring some of her longtime customers.
“This store is a big part of my social life — the most rewarding part of this job is the kids who come in and the dance teachers, who have taught me so much over the years,” she said. “Why would I retire? I love what I do.”
To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at Cory@theunion.com.
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