February 20, 2019

Paper Peddler closing up shop

Observer photo by Riley Jenson
Kathie Cooke has owned The Paper Peddler since 2007. She has decided to close the business later this month.

By Riley Jenson

Special to the Observer

Kathie Cooke has made the decision to retire after 10-plus years owning and operating The Paper Peddler. The 35-year-old stationary and gift store, which offers a variety of cards, jewelry, accessories and sweets, will close July 31.

“Back when I bought the business (in 2007), I set a goal for myself to work at least 10 years before deciding when to retire,” Cooke said. “I had no idea how much of my life would be consumed with this type of work.

“While this job has been the best job I’ve ever had, I now realize… it was time to retire.”

The Paper Peddler was first located in the Champlain Mill in Winooski before moving in 2001 to Maple Tree Place in Williston. Cooke relocated the business to its current spot at 34 Blair Park in 2015. The location offered more parking, increased visibility and an additional 1,000 square feet.

While the expanded space provided room for new products, Cooke said sales began to decline. 

“I decided to bring in a number of new vendors in hopes that customers would like the new merchandise enough to buy it and keep me in business,” she said. “It was becoming quite difficult to find new merchandise customers were willing to buy.”

Cooke also discovered that her products were also being sold on Amazon.

“Like many small mom-and-pop retailers, there was no way I could compete,” she said.

Riley Jenson is a Champlain Valley Union High School graduate, a student at Endicott College and a Williston Observer intern.

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