VALLEY PARK, Mo. — Frisco Train Store has reopened, but the pandemic nearly closed its doors for good because of the financial hit. So, the owners asked for help, and the community stepped up in a big way.
The 140-year-old building next to the railroad tracks in Valley Park was originally built by the Frisco line as a hotel for railroad workers. Today, the name still lives on in the Frisco Train Store.
Before the pandemic, people brought their kids to play there for free. The train tables are surrounded by toys available for purchase.
“We’re a store, so, by selling merchandise – that’s how we pay the bills. And we had no problem getting traffic to here because we had a big play area for the kids to come in,” said co-owner Kristin Berry.
Once the pandemic hit, they closed the play area, and the traffic came to a screeching halt. So, the owners Tom and Kristin Berry posted on Facebook asking people to shop at their store.
“We were in trouble. We kind of needed some help. And if anybody could do their Christmas shopping, whatever at our store – anything to help would be great,” said co-owner Tom Berry.
The post was shared more than 1,200 times. The Frisco Train store was receiving lots of orders and donations.
There was even a mother-son team who made masks for the store to sell and help raise money. And a little boy named Henry decided on his own he was going to open a lemonade stand to raise money for the business, and he raised over $150 from his neighbors.
With the store being back open, they are now charging for reserved playtime at $3 per child. With that, they will be able to cover some of the costs for the extra sanitizing and cleaning.
While it has been a bumpy ride, the owners are thanking their customers for keeping them chugging along.
To make a reservation to play at the shop’s train tables, visit friscotrainstore.com. It’s located at 24 Front Street in Valley Park, Missouri. The phone number is (636) 529-1660.
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