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Locally owned toy store opens on Main Street in Columbia

Christina Lee Knauss //September 13, 2022

Locally owned toy store opens on Main Street in Columbia

Christina Lee Knauss //September 13, 2022

Perfect Storm Bear Factory, which sells toys, games and customizable plush animals, has opened at 1426 Main St. (Photo/Provided)

A new toy store is open on Columbia’s Main Street.

Located at 1426 Main St., Perfect Storm Bear Factory is owned by Columbia residents Jenny and Allen Franklin and offers a wide selection of toys, games, puzzles and customizable plush animals. The store is on the street level of the Hub student apartment building.

Perfect Storm held its grand opening event Sept. 9, with city and community officials in attendance.

Owner Jenny Franklin said she comes from a long line of small business entrepreneurs including her father and grandfather and wants to continue the tradition in downtown Columbia. The Franklins previously ran a seasonal toy shop at Columbiana Centre Mall and decided to bring their concept to a full-time location downtown.

“The wisdom and encouragement of my father and grandfather encouraged me to open the store,” she said. “We hope that our store helps people of all ages to rediscover their love for toys and games.”

New stores are a good thing for downtown because they bring back the excitement of “shopping bag retail,” according to Matt Kennell, president and CEO of Main Street District, a downtown marketing and development organization.

“Recently we’ve had a lot of openings in the restaurant and hospitality sector, and now it’s good to see new retail stores coming into the area,” Kennell said. “There’s something about real, shopping bag-retail that gets people excited and really creates a buzz for our city and downtown.”

Perfect Storm Bear Factory is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 6 p.m. by appointment only on Sunday.