Party Time is over: Grass Valley party supply store to close
Party Time, a family-owned party supply store located in Grass Valley’s Fowler Center, will close its doors at the end of the month after more than three years of business providing local residents and customers products for their party needs.
“I’m just really sorry for those who count on me,” owner Joyce Stogner said, “But I gave everything I had to make it work. I gave everything I had and it’s just really tearing my heart out to close, but I just don’t have any other choice.”
Stogner opened Party Time in the summer of 2011, with the goal of bringing a store to the area with affordable party products that locals would usually go down the hill to buy.
Party Time volunteer Joanne Corkins has been donating her own free time to help Stogner in the weeks preceding the closing.
Corkins said the store is the only place in town where people can find everything and anything they need to throw a party.
“So when we close I don’t know where people are going to go to find specific things like that for different parties,” Corkins said. “I don’t know of any party stores here, because they’re not party stores, they’re basically dollar stores.”
With the opening of dollar stores in the area, like Dollar Tree on Freeman Lane in Grass Valley, and a Dollar Store on Sutton Way, Stogner says it is too hard for her to compete with box-stores that can provide similar, yet lower-quality products, to consumers for a lower price. And with the addition of a Dollar General, which will open up across the street from Party Time in December, Stogner said she has “admitted defeat.
“I still have better stuff and more stuff than they will,” Stogner said of the Dollar General. “But people will come here and buy the cheaper stuff and go to the dollar stores and buy the rest of the stuff. I’m not going to make it, I can expand, but I don’t have the money to do it, the community is not going to support me on it.”
Corkins, though, said Party Time has offered customers detailed service that the dollar stores can’t.
“It’s sad because you get a lot of customers coming in here wanting something specific, and we have always tried to cater to what they are asking for,” Corkins said. “I think Joyce has done a real good job at doing that.”
Stogner says that not only is she losing money to the dollar stores, but to customers who would rather go down the hill for their party supplies.
“The community didn’t support me like I thought they would,” Stogner said. “I would have never opened if I thought that they would still go down the hill. I thought that they would be thankful that I’m here. A lot of people are, there are some great people who have been very loyal.”
While Stogner plans to close within a matter of weeks, she is still looking to possibly sell her business, or all of her inventory to a buyer who wants to try and continue to try to build off of her groundwork.
“People are saying they’re sorry to hear us close,” Stogner said. “But if somebody were to buy Party Time right now, it needs to be moved to a bigger spot, somebody who has the money to expand and buy in bulk to make it like a mini Party City or Michaels could make it work.”
Stogner says the majority of her products will be 50 percent off till the store closes.
“I love this store,” Stogner said. “It’s just tearing me up to close this store. I love this community. I was born and raised here so there’s no words to tell you how much it’s hurting me to have to close. And to my loyal customers, I’m sorry, I gave it my best shot, I did everything I possibly could to make it work, but I can’t continue to go into debt. I can’t continue to do that.”
To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.
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