Jessica Hertel and her three year old son Alexander Rodriguez came into the store to find him a costume. It’s not his first time trick or treating, but it’s the first year he’ll be able to make the walk alone. He’ll be going as Zorro. In the past, she’s ordered his costumes online. She’s happy the store is here.
“Oh my gosh, this was so exciting,” she said about the store.
The kid wanted a Goku costume but eventually his mom picked Zorro.
“Mom wins this year,” said shopkeeper Brenda Newton.
“There’s an entertainment value to the store,” owner Jo Toothaker said. “The kids all seem to enjoy it…. On weekends it’s a metropolis of fun.”
Toothaker’s Halloween store officially opened on Sept. 3. Since then, she claims the store has seen more than its fair share of customers.
“Yesterday we had a customer from Greensburg to get their Halloween supplies,” Toothaker said. “It’s a regional thing, it’s not just a Dodge City thing, and that’s why I think it’s been successful.”
The Halloween store offers a number of packaged Halloween costumes, masks and makeup for both children and adults. Sales are being offered at the store, with pink sticker items half off. And if you buy a costume from the store, employees will apply your makeup for free. Volunteers troll the store and the mall in Halloween costumes, making surprise visits to customers.
“It gives them something to do with their children; it gives them something where they can spend a Sunday afternoon and enjoy,” Toothaker said.
According to Toothaker, the most popular costumes this year are Ninja Turtles for children and zombies for adults.
Toothaker said she decided to open the shop because she has always been intrigued by seasonal stores. She was particularly enamored with Halloween and saw the demand for a Halloween store in western Kansas. As for the success of the store, she is thankful to Dodge City.
“We were at the right place at the right time this year and the City of Dodge was eager to have us and everything fell into place and I’m very thankful,” she said.
Toothaker is unsure if the store will be open next year, saying it depends on whether they find a good location again. For now the store is open until Halloween. Its hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. It is located at the Village Square Mall at 2601 Central Ave.
Though business has been good, Toothaker said that in addition to making money it’s good for the community and good because it represents a positive image of Dodge City.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s been doing well financially, but more importantly the community got behind us,” she said.
*With contribution from Chris Guinn