A little bit of the beach is moving onto Brookline Boulevard.
Peggy and Rick Lawrence have moved their store, Beach Treats Gifts, from Virginia into the storefront at 972 Brookline Boulevard, near the Cannon monument.
The grand opening is this Saturday, April 6, and the couple is looking forward to sharing their passion with their new community.
“We’re really coming home,” Peggy said. “We have so many friends and relatives here, and the neighbors have been wonderful on the Boulevard and at home.”
Beach Treats began its 10th year in business in January, and was located in Tidewater, Va., where Rick and Peggy also lived until recently.
But last year, the couple decided it was time to consider a change that would bring them closer to family members in Pittsburgh, and would bring their business to a new area.
A family member had already bought and renovated the Brookline Boulevard storefront, and Rick and Peggy saw an opportunity.
“We’re dealing with a substantial-sized community here, and there really aren’t other gift shops around,” Rick said. “We saw that opportunity, and we knew because of the family relationships in this area, this was where we wanted to be.”
The couple recently bought and is renovating a house in Brookline. Peggy’s mother lives in Mount Washington—Peggy grew up there and attended South Hills High School—and they have other family in the area as well.
Peggy said she is thrilled that the Brookline community already is making them feel at home.
“We moved in on a Friday, and on Sunday the neighbors showed up with a cake and the local newsletter,” Rick said. “It’s our position that we’re all in. We bought a home in Brookline, we’re building a business here. Given the option, we’ll be here to stay.”
The couple said they want to create a comfortable, homey atmosphere in the store. They plan to offer free coffee and cookies for shoppers, as well as a comfortable store layout to make shopping enjoyable.
“Basically, we want people to feel like they’re shopping in our living room. Like they’re coming here to visit us, and we can help them out,” Peggy said.
Beach Treats received multiple outstanding-business awards while located in Virginia. The owners said the store truly will carry something for everyone, and beach-themed goodies are only a small part of what they do.
The store will carry collectibles and jewelry, blown-glass ornaments, garden flags and other garden accessories, as well as picture frames and items for home décor. Pittsburgh sports-themed goods, including items with local college logos, also will be available. The store also will carry a selection of pink ribbon items for breast cancer awareness.
Peggy also hand-makes custom gift baskets for any occasion, and everything is customizable, she said, from wedding gifts to office parties. Peggy said she prides herself of never exceeding a customer’s budget, and with more than 70 vendors supplying the store, she’s confident she can always find something that works.
The store will also do private shopping events at customers’ requests.
“We try to be the answer for everyone who is shopping,” she said. “We love when people walk in and say ‘My mother-in-law has everything! Help!’ We’re really good at solving that dilemma because we have so many unique things.”
The grand opening of Beach Treats is this Saturday, April 6. Regular store hours will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store will be closed Sunday and Monday. The owners said store hours can be adjusted to meet customers’ needs.