Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Business Spotlight: Cricket's Corner Shoppe

No matter how old you are or what your budget is, Cricket’s Corner Shoppe is bound to have a gift to please the pickiest recipient on your shopping list.

Cricket's Corner Shoppe at 1223 Roosevelt Trail in
Raymond is a go-to destination for shoppers in search of
the perfect gift. It offers unique products not found
anywhere else and for all budgets.  COURTESY PHOTO
Located at 1223 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond, Cricket’s Corner Shoppe has become a legendary go-to destination for locals and for anyone visiting the Lakes Region of Maine by offering thousands of items and with fresh inventory arriving every week.

Don (Uncle Don) Drew has owned and operated Cricket’s Corner Shoppe since 1999 and says the business derived its name from the nickname of the daughter of the previous owner. Before Uncle Don, it was mostly a consignment-type shop, but he has since turned it into a customer favorite by featuring many unique items not commonly found elsewhere.

Cricket’s Corner Shoppe has greeting cards; puzzles; jams and jellies; doll houses, doll furniture and doll clothing; toys; scarves; women’s beauty products; Donna Sharp handbags; a Christmas tree room, honey, Christmas ornaments; Christmas-related items year-round; one of the largest candle selections in the Lakes Region; maple products; stuffed animals; candies, hand-blown glass gifts, Willow Tree Angels, bath supplies; Maine souvenirs; and an array of novelty items that dazzle the imagination.

“We believe this is the most unique one-stop shopping experience you can find,” Uncle Don said. “If you’re looking for a gift, this is the place to come. We’re a unique giftshop with a vast array of products and have something for everyone’s taste and everyone’s pocketbook.”

Situated in a 5,600-square-foot building, Uncle Don said shoppers are often surprised at how large Cricket’s Corner Shoppe is inside.

“Some people have no realization how big it is until they start walking through it and walk down the aisles,” Uncle Don said. “They tell me that they’re amazed at the amount of inventory we have to offer.”

Uncle Don has been working in retail for 50 years and says the slogans created for Cricket’s Corner Shoppe truly do apply.

“We have two sayings. The first is ‘Everything under one roof’ and the other one is ‘If we don’t have it, you don’t need it’ and those pretty much sum up this business,” he said.

Originally from Portland, Uncle Don says that he first became interested in retail stores as the result of a friend who owned a business in Wells.

“She had a big barn in Wells and wanted me to do something with it,” he said. “That was really how I got started in doing something like this.”

Uncle Don is the sole proprietor of Cricket’s Corner Shoppe and has two employees helping operate the business. He does all the ordering of the thousands of items of unique merchandise and manages to do so without computers or a website.

“We do have people who visit here in the summer, and they go back home after seeing something in the store, and then call us and ask us to ship it to them,” he said. “We’re happy to wrap them up and ship it to them.”

Many customers are from throughout Southern Maine, but Uncle Don said he does have loyal shoppers visit from Otisfield, Poland, Kennebunkport and points beyond.

“They keep coming back we always have sales going on and offer great deals and competitive prices,” he said.

The busiest time of the year at Cricket’s Corner Shoppe is typically during the months of November and December as shoppers try to choose the prefect holiday gift, but Uncle Don said that with new items arriving every week, it’s always a great time to stop in and see new displays of merchandise.

“My keys to running a successful business are simple,” he said. “Always greet the customer. Always be pleasant to the customers. Stand behind the merchandise you sell. If you can do that and have great products, the customers will come back again and again.”

Cricket’s Corner Shoppe is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. In January it is not open on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.

For more information, call Cricket’s Corner Shoppe at 207-655-4544. <

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