A name that’s familiar to thousands of local teachers and parents has returned to a store front.
Kids in Harmony toy and teacher store opened its doors at No. 16, 7667 50th Ave. (Centre 76) on May 1. The business, which has 2,300 square feet of space in its premises, carries a broad range of teaching materials, games and other educational resources.
The store is being operated by Wendy and Ryan Hansen, who obtained the rights to the Kids in Harmony name for local retail purposes from Susan and Cam Hamman.
The Hammans ran a Kids in Harmony store in Red Deer for 13 years. They closed it in January 2008 after the building their business was located in was sold.
However, the Hammans continued to supply teachers using a mobile retail service. And a preschool they also operated under the Kids in Harmony name moved to a new location and has remained active.
Wendy Hansen, who owns Tiny Treasures Daycare Centre with her husband, Ryan, said the closure of the Kids in Harmony store left a huge void.
“I always enjoyed going into the store,” she said. “It was very beneficial to our day cares.
“When she (Susan) closed down, we had nowhere to go to buy our bulletin boards and posters and toys and puzzles and that kind of thing.”
Meanwhile, said Susan, the time required to operate the mobile retail service and administer the preschool was immense. She estimated that she was putting in more than 80 hours a week.
When the Hansens approached her and Cam in December about re-opening the Kids in Harmony store, they idea made good sense.
Susan had kept many of the retail fixtures from her store, and she and Cam helped the Hansens put it all together.
The result, said Wendy, is a store that’s “very similar” to its predecessor.
“Everything a teacher would need for their classroom, we carry,” said Wendy.
Many former Kids in Harmony customers have already found their way into the store, she added.
Susan said the Hansens’ three day cares are a nice fit with their new business.
“They go hand in hand with the store,” she said, adding that the Hansens have a good background in child care and development.
Kids in Harmony toy and teacher store is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kids in Harmony preschool, which emphasizes music and movement, will hold an open house May 12 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. It is located in the basement of Victoria Christian Fellowship at 98 Oberlin Ave.