Community merchants buying into ‘buy local' trend Partial article from Gazette.Net published on September 30, 2009. Click here to read the full article.
Carlos Aulestia, owner of Toy Kingdom in Rockville Town Square, embraces the city's "buy local" campaign that began late last year.
His fellow merchant across the street, Deborah Simon, owner of The Waygoose fine crafts gallery, which also has a shop in Bethesda, has yet to sign up as a paid sponsor. She cited the extra cost — $25 for individuals who want to sponsor the program and starting at $250 for businesses with fewer than 10 employees — while saying the initiative is a bit too narrowly focused for her company's needs.
Toy recalls cast a cloud over holiday shopping Partial article from Gazette.Net published on November 27, 2007. Click here to read the full article.
The toy recall was a concern for shoppers in Rockville on Black Friday, as parents and grandparents turned over boxes to check for products made in China.
‘‘Yup, made in China,” Priscilla Pulliam of Silver Spring said while shopping in Toy Kingdom. About 80 percent of toys in the United States are made in China, Carlos Aulestia, owner of Toy Kingdom in Rockville Town Square, estimated.
His store, however, buys products mostly from European toy companies. He said that while some of the products are still made in China, they are held to a higher standard in Europe than in the U.S.
Toy Kingdom does not carry toys made by Fisher-Price or its parent company Mattel, which recently recalled millions of Chinese-made toys due to lead paint hazards.
‘‘We haven’t sold one item that has been recalled,” Aulestia said.
Toy Kingdom did receive a shipment of Thomas the Tank Engine toys, which were also recalled early this year for having lead paint hazards, but the store did not even get the chance to sell one before it had to ship it back to the manufacturer.
‘‘Every day customers come in with concerns [about recalled toys],” Aulestia said. To calm their concerns, he shows them letters he receives from the toy companies he buys from that reassure their products have been re-tested.
Developer looking for investors Partial article from Gazette.Net published on April 10, 2007. Click here to read the full article.
Business was better than expected when Toy Kingdom opened on March 10, store proprietor Carlos Aulestia said. But then the city closed the part of Maryland Avenue that his store faces, rendering the new business almost invisible while workers and machines repair the road’s buckled pavers.
Since then, foot traffic has fallen off dramatically, he said, forcing him to lay off personnel, reduce his summer inventory purchases and take out a loan to cover his losses.
More businesses are opening in Town Square Partial article from Gazette.Net published on March 20, 2007. Click here to read the full article.
Cosi and Toy Kingdom opened early last week, while Jerry’s Subs and Pizza opened Monday.
One more business, Robeks Fruit Smoothies and Healthy Eats, is set to open Thursday at Beall and Maryland avenues. It will be the 13th Washington-area store.
Toy Kingdom, located at 36 Maryland Ave., offers a variety of gifts for boys and girls.