Bangor shop that sold educational, developmental toys going out of business

Robert O. Cupcake, a family-owned store in Bangor that features games and toys that appeal to childrens' imagination, creativity, intellect, problem solving and curiosity, will close in March.
Andrew Neff | BDN
Robert O. Cupcake, a family-owned store in Bangor that features games and toys that appeal to childrens' imagination, creativity, intellect, problem solving and curiosity, will close in March. Buy Photo
Posted Feb. 13, 2014, at 5:53 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2014, at 8:44 p.m.
Fourteen-month-old Benjamin Wilcox of Bangor enjoys a ride on a rocking horse during a visit to the new Robert O Cupcake toy store in Bangor in this August 2012 file photo. The store will close in March.
Travis Gass
Fourteen-month-old Benjamin Wilcox of Bangor enjoys a ride on a rocking horse during a visit to the new Robert O Cupcake toy store in Bangor in this August 2012 file photo. The store will close in March.

BANGOR, Maine — A Harlow Street shop that sold developmental and educational toys will close its doors next month, the owners announced Thursday.

“We’re disappointed,” said Nancy Roe, who owns Robert O. Cupcake Toys alongside her husband, Mark. “We were hoping that it would be a viable business, but apparently it’s not.”

Roe said shopping has changed in recent years. Websites and big-box stores have made it more difficult for small shops like hers to survive, she said.

“People aren’t finding this type of store practical,” Roe said.

The Roes started their toy business in Machias about five years ago when they changed their store’s focus from party supplies. Business wasn’t great in Machias, Roe said, so in the summer of 2012, they decided to try their luck in Bangor and moved to Harlow Street. The store was named after daughter Jane Roe’s childhood imaginary friend.

They wanted to stay away from electronics and focus on learning toys that were “powered by the imagination,” Roe said. Kids were encouraged to come in and play with the toys in the store before deciding what they wanted to take home.

Roe said the store will have discounts through mid-March in an attempt to sell off its inventory.

“We need to be cleared out of here by the end of March,” Roe said.

The couple are still deciding what to do next with their lives.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers,” the owners wrote in a Facebook post to their customers. “It’s been so much fun seeing the kids and parents and grandparents discover smiles and find tools to lay the foundations of lifelong relationships. It’s been a great business to see how kind and loving people can be towards each other.”

 

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