By Dale McGarrigle
Special to The Weekly
HAMPDEN — Greg and April DiSalvo discovered a problem then found a way to fix it.
April, a mother of five children, always has enjoyed shopping at thrift and consignment stores for
But after she and her husband Greg moved to Winterport last spring, “we looked around, and we
couldn’t find what we were looking for,” Greg said.
Then April got the idea to open up a store stocked with used children’s items.
Six weeks after that, on May 1, The Kidz Korner opened at 106 Main Road South, on the intersection of Route 1A and Summer Street, diagonally across from Kennebec Road. The 600-square-foot shop features children’s clothing, furniture, toys and videos.
The couple originally looked for a space in Winterport, but couldn’t find one that fit their needs. Then they found the recently remodeled storefront in Hampden.
The DiSalvos originally built their inventory by answering ads on Craig’s List and Uncle Henry’s.
“We bought outright from people,” April explained. “Having us take it all at once is easier [for the
sellers] than having a yard sale.”
Now people are bringing items to them. But the DiSalvos don’t believe in consignment;iInstead they offer cash or store credit.
“They don’t have to wait for [the item] to sell,” Greg said. “We like to be more compatible with our
customers. It’s simpler and it makes people more comfortable.”
The couple also has people on the lookout for particular items. “We want to have as wide a variety as possible,” Greg said. “We’re trying to stop doing the legwork and relying on customers to provide items.”
The most popular items: pack-and-play strollers and high chairs. “We sold out of those big-ticket items in two days when we opened,” April said.
What are the DiSalvos in the market for? “Strollers, DVDs and toys, and summer items for children between sizes 5 and 10, because kids in those sizes are harder on their clothes,” April said.
Kidz Korner also offers a “wish list” service, through which customers can list items they are seeking, and then they get first crack at the item when it comes into stock.
Customers have given the shop good reviews. “People have said we have a lot of variety and quality in a small space,” Greg said.
The DiSalvos have been coordinating with sisters Darlene and Stacey Haskell, the owners of At Home, a home-décor business located in the same building as The Kids Korner.
“There’s been a really good partnership between the two stores,” Greg said. “That gives us both a better chance to survive and do well.”
Although the couple advertised in the Bangor-Brewer area, they are finding that many customers are coming from as far south as Belfast.
“People will come up the coast to shop in Bangor, see us here and stop in,” Greg said. “A lot of people have told us they appreciate having something like this locally.”
The Kidz Korner is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m, Wednesday-Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 862-0010 or visit its Facebook page, http://thekidzkorner.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.