A familiar store has returned and local shoppers will be glad to know that it is being run by a familiar face.
Leah Belanger is the manager of the Hallmark store in Timmins Square. The new store opened in November, just in time for Christmas.
Since the previous Hallmark store in the mall closed, shoppers have been asking the owner of Wicked Stuff, Shawn Stack, if they could get items previously sold at Hallmark.
He decided that Timmins would indeed support Hallmark.
“There were many customers asking the owner for items that Hallmark carries,” Belanger said. “Everyone that comes through the doors, they are just so happy and grateful to have Hallmark back.
“There are a lot of collectable items available that they collect. And, what they are telling me, is that they don’t have to go out of town to collect them now.”
With Christmas just around the corner, the store has a wide range of gift ideas, many with a personal touch.
“We have our Keepsake collectible ornaments, which are very popular at Christmas time,” she said. “We have a lot of gift ideas: superhero items, Harry Potter and Star Wars, to name a few.”
Hallmark also has items made specifically for special occasions.
“We also have a lot of gifts for baptism, Christening and also a baby section,” she said.
Of course, Hallmark has a card for just about anything.
“Definitely,” she said. “We have our seasonal cards in our front half, then we go to our children’s, encouragement, thank you cards and more.”
Of course, there are a wide selection of birthday and anniversary cards available all the time.
“Mother’s Day is always very popular as well,” Belanger said of seasonal offerings.
With Timmins being a bilingual community, a selection cards are available in English and French.
Regular shoppers at Timmins Square will recognize Belanger. She previously worked at Reitmans and Quills in the regional shopping centre.
Now, she is delighted to be a part of the Hallmark team.
“It’s really nice,” Belanger said. “It’s a caring atmosphere. It’s all about people wanting to put across how they feel about the person they are giving the card to. Our cards have wonderful words to help explain how you feel.”
Staff at Hallmark can help find an appropriate card, particularly when customers are going through an emotional time.
“Especially in the sympathy area, we find they sometimes just need encouragement with someone standing next to them to look for a card and find the right words,” she said. “It can be a tough time.”
She said everything comes together to create a friendly, helpful atmosphere in the store.
“I really enjoy working at Hallmark,” Belanger said. “We really appreciated the mall coming in to congratulate us on opening the store.
“We have a great team here that are very experienced with customer service. And the owner, he’s a great man to work for.”
Hallmark is located in Timmins Square, at 1500 Riverside Dr., next to Wicked Stuff.
Store hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Find the Timmins store on Facebook here.