JP CENTER—Boing! JP’s Toy Shop at 677 Centre St. is up for sale nine years after Jamaica Plain resident Elaine Hackney opened the store. Last week, she said she hopes the store will remain open and part of the community.
“After much soul searching, I have recently come to the decision that it is time for me to move on,” she wrote in a release. “It is my intention for the business to continue to thrive and grow.
“I’m not getting younger. Retail takes a lot out of you. It’s just time for me,” she added in a phone interview with the Gazette.
“It’s a bummer—I come here all the time. I hope somebody buys it and keeps it,” Erin Wise, a customer and JP resident said on Aug. 22. “We much prefer coming here to Toys’R’Us.”
Hackney said it’s a “bittersweet” moment, “All the kids that first came here when we first opened are in college now. There’s a whole new round of children coming in,” she said. “The best part of the whole thing is kids being here and watching them grow. It’s creating memories in their lives.”
Hackney opened the store in 2001 after switching careers from teacher to training manager to corporate marketing to small business owner.
“I had always wanted to own a small business that becomes part of the fabric of the community. It’s been a really nice opportunity for me,” she told the Gazette.
“I feel like it’s just time [for Hackney] to move on to the next big adventure in life,” said Allison Rogers, a JP resident and an employee at BOING! since its opening. “It’s a chapter in many chapters in Elaine’s life.”
Hackney said in that press release that she would be available to help the next owner make a smooth transition, but she is looking forward to the “whole new energy“ a new owner would add.She told the Gazette: “It’s a new venture for someone [who can bring] a fresh perspective, level of energy and enthusiasm.
“This is a fun and profitable business that has tremendous growth potential for someone with the skills and resources to make it happen,” Hackney wrote in the release.
“I feel Elaine brought a lot to the community,” Rogers said.
Boing! moved to its current location in 2008. It was previously located at 729 Centre St.