NOSTALGIA — Erin Turko, owner of Heart City and Erin Mavis explains themed areas of the shop. 

New first street store billed as modern day five-and-dime

When you first walk into Heart City, you’re greeted with a wonderland of different colors. That was one of the goals that Erin Turko had for her First Street store, which is set to open on Friday, Nov. 29.

“My idea is to have it be just fun for all ages — it’ll have retro candies, greeting cards, stickers, puzzles, games — a store that makes you happy when you walk in,” she said.

Turko has described Heart City as a “modern day five-and-dime,” where kids and adults can walk in and find anything small, colorful and cute. The store leans toward embracing nostalgia, with a corner devoted to Mrs. Grossman’s stickers and old fashioned candy situated throughout.

Heart City’s take on nostalgia makes sense — the location itself is fashioned and named after a store Turko frequented when she was young.

“As a child, it was my favorite place to go,” she said. “Everything was unicorns and rainbows and colorful and stickers and candy — I truly loved it. In my mind I’ve always wanted to open Heart City.”

So when the retail space next to Turko’s clothing store Erin Mavis opened up a few months ago (it had been occupied by Next Door Comics, which moved to North Cloverdale Boulevard), she jumped on it. 

“My husband and I, through the years, we would go someplace, and we would see something and go, ‘Heart City needs to have that’ as an inside joke,” she said. “We had this whole vision for what Heart City would be.”

That vision is now coming to life.

Turko said that while choosing items to stock in the shop, she’s put a concentrated effort into thinking about limiting plastic usage.

“There’s a big focus on it (items) not being plastic,” she said. “A lot of party favors, little gifts that you buy for kids or stuff that you pick up is plastic for no reason. I’m not saying it’s 100% plastic-free, because some things just come wrapped in plastic, but there’s nothing that is intentionally just plastic.”

In addition to the bright, sticker-laden inventory of Heart City, Turko said that the store will also have a party space. She envisions it being both for birthday parties, as well as a place that people can reserve for scrapbooking, henna nights, paint nights and the like. 

“People started saying, ‘There’s no place to have birthday parties, I would love to have a place where I could have a tea party,’ or a sticker party or craft-type parties,” she said. 

The plan was initially to block off the back of the store to use as a back room. Instead, the store has an eight-person table set up in the back of the room. While Turko said that some design elements still need to be put up, Heart City already has its first birthday party reservation.

Heart City is scheduled to open the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 29, and stay open through Christmas Eve. It will be closed during January and reopen in February, so that Turko can put all of the finishing touches on the store.

“I didn’t have enough time frame from when I took over the space from the comic book store to do everything I want to do, but I wanted to get open,” she said.

Heart City will be open on Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Thursdays to Sundays from 10:30 to 5:30 p.m. The shop is located at 115 East First St.

“All things fun is the idea of it,” she said.

Heart City will be open on Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Thursdays to Sundays from 10:30 to 5:30 p.m. The shop is located at 115 East First Street.

“All things fun is the idea of it,” she said. “There’s nothing too serious.”


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