BERKLEY, Mich. (WJBK) - When news leaked that the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop and the Parent Teacher Resource Center in Berkley were closing, longtime customers had to come see for themselves.
"Oh I think I yelled," said Southfield resident Sharon Kramer.
For some, a trip to this family owned and operated store is a trip back to their childhood.
"My mom took me and my baby doll here to get its eyes fixed. We came back a week later and it had a new head, which was a little spooky, but I've never forgotten my trips to the doll hospital," Kramer said.
The store was opened way back in 1948 by Kay Parish, who had a vision, and her family worked to keep that vision alive for as long as they could. But with a focus on what's called specialty toys, staying open became more of a challenge
"Specialty toys are kid powered toys that children have to use their own imagination, their own creativity. There's less and less of that. Parents are pushing their children to electronics and iPhones and sadly, there are pitfalls to that," said Jack Zagrodzki of the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop.
And then there were pressures of online retail.
"We adapted very well into online shopping," he said. "But the problem is again, where parents focus their buys on."
So now everything must go, including the building.
The business will maintain normal hours until everything is gone. Something else the family says they will maintain are the relationships they have with their customers.
"We feel like the community is a family," said Cindy Noettel, Kay Parish's granddaughter.
And that's why this move to close is so difficult.
"What we'll miss most and what will be difficult is seeing little children coming in, and the smile on their face the laughter and the wonder in their eyes as they open a beautiful new toy," Zagrodzki said.