“I definitely want to make our book section a lot bigger. I want a huge book section because we’re lacking that in Kodiak,” Duncan told the Mirror at Grand Slam’s first anniversary event on June 21.
A few dozen people attended the store’s first birthday party, or “carnival” as Duncan called it. The event, held outdoors while rain permitted, featured contests, face painting and food. A rainstorm chased many of the people away by the afternoon.
“Today was our big barbecue, the summer solstice, one-year anniversary,” said Duncan, who bought Grand Slam from its previous owner Ron Kutchik, and had been coming to Grand Slam since she was young.
She noted that since taking over from Kutchik, the book collection is growing and will continue on. She runs the store with her husband Robbie.
The Duncans take pains to keep abreast of the malleable toy market.
“We go to toy conventions once a year and that’s where we get all the new stuff,” said Robbie Duncan.
They described their first year in business as “hectic,” but “were getting used to” it.
“The community changes all the time,” Denise Duncan said.
Thus far, the store’s bread and butter are educational toys and supplies for homeschooled students and birthday party supplies.
“I have a lot of homeschoolers that come in her to get everything. Everything is geared toward every aspect of school. We have huge science kits, math kits, tons of things like that,” she added.
They hope to expand the space as well to make room for new toys.
“We’ve already had to expand a little bit. We’re just getting new types of toys, the newest types of stuff in the market,” said Robbie Duncan.
Another big seller: birthday party items.
“It’s birthday party time of the season. Right now is when most of our birthday parties happen,” she said.
Another big plus for them — Denise knows a few women who are pregnant (including herself and one of her employees, both due in October).
This lends itself well to a new marketing plan.
“We want to expand into getting more baby stuff — I want a bigger selection, more blankets, little clothes,” Denise Duncan said.
Contact Peter J. Mladineo at email@example.com