Retail Store Coming to Plaza

By Nancy Arsenault

Mary Roy (l) and Crystal Giuva in front of what will be their new store.

The Stow Shopping Plaza is experiencing a renaissance of sorts as the third of potentially four new businesses gets ready to open there this summer. Late August will welcome Snap Dragon Party & Gift Store, located between Colonial Spirits and the Red Ginger Restaurant.

Owned by Crystal and Michael Giuva and Crystal’s mother, Mary Roy, the store will be opening soon after 32 Degrees Yogurt and Emmas’Café opens there. Super Cuts is expecting a late summer opening,  as well.

“Stow is just the perfect location for us,” said co-owner Crystal Giuva, who felt the demographics of the area, which includes many young families, is the ideal customer base for her store. “I’m a parent and Stow seems to be filled with people just like me.  I know what it’s like to have to get things for birthday parties, school events and everything else that comes along.  I go into a store and I know what I need and what I want and I would love to find it all in one place. That’s what Snap Dragon will be – the go-to store for everything you need for those events,” she said.

While there are many discount party stores, Giuva said this is not a Dollar Store-type operation. While they will stock inexpensive gift bags, wrappings, bows, cards and helium balloons, the store will also be a stop to find gifts to go into those party bags. “We will stock Melissa and Doug toys,” she said, of the high-end manufacturer of quality wooden playthings. Blossom Bucket is another line of gifts and trinkets, often seen in Hallmark stores, that will be stocked in Snap Dragon. “I want a shopper to come in and find everything they need to go to a party or put on a party,” she said.

The store will also change with the seasons, with holiday décor for the home, seasonal gifts and toys and playthings that match the calendar. “For summer, we would stock squirt guns, pool toys, frisbees and things for the beach,” she said.

Snap Dragon will also attract customers who have no party on the calendar,  but are lured in by the Penny Candy Counter that, in modern day terms, will start at around five cents per item. Giuva is structuring a creative pay scale, with a specific charge for a handful of candy items, and then set costs for all you can heap into small, medium or large Chinese food containers. “We’re not going to be weighing anything,” said Giuva of the concept that can send shockwaves to the wallet when it involves ice cream and yogurt self-serve toppings.  She said the Chinese food containers of candy have proven successful in other markets, where customers are eager to use them as birthday party favors for the guests.

Snap Dragon has a busy summer ahead as Giuva and her partners design the store’s interior and work with construction crews on the buildout. In the meantime, inventory is being ordered to fulfill Giuva’s goal that, “each customer can leave the store with absolutely everything they need to go to a party or host a party. All they have to do is take it home and set it up.”