Heights Kids to Close in July

To the dismay of grandparents, parents and children in the neighborhood, Heights Kids, located on Pineapple Walk, will sell its last toys and shut its doors by the end of July. Owner Darek Cegielski spoke about the situation today.

Q.  Why are you closing the business?

A.  Well, a number of factors. It’s very tough to have a small retail business these days. Competing with internet sales is impossible. Also, for the last year, I’ve been trying to negotiate a rent that the business could sustain, but I couldn’t make a deal.

Q.  How long has Heights Kids been in business and why did you decide to open a toy store?

A.  It opened 20 years ago. I was in the toy store business before that. I’ve lived on Poplar St. for 25 years, and I looked around and there was no store in the neighborhood at the time that was selling toys and baby goods.

Q.  How do you feel about closing the shop after so many years?

A.  I will miss it. The clientele has been great. I’ve watched so many neighborhood kids grow up. I’ve seen customers, who came to the store as kids, grow up and bring their own kids here. But I’ve always believed that life is writing the story for you. Everything has to come to an end so new things can begin.

Q.  What are your plans after the business closes?

A.  To be honest, I don’t know. I’m going to take at least a month off and figure it out.

Q.  If there’s one thing you could say to all of your customers, what would it be?

A.  Thank you for all the support for the last 20 years. You’ve all been so great.

This writer is not as zen about this situation as Darek and still trying to process this devastating news. In the meantime, everything in the store is now 20% off. Let’s go and help Darek clear the inventory and get some great toys for your kids and their friends!



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  • FoodArtforKids.com

    My heart broke a little :( I wish him and his family good luck in future endeavors.

  • Slyone

    Ugh. This makes me sad. I still remember buying my first car seat there and one of the guys walking back to my car parked on Cranberry Street to help me install it properly. And the awesome train table . . . And they are supporters of PS8. Heights Kids has always been so great.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    Sad news. Thankfully, Darek sounds at peace with this. They will be sorely missed.

  • henry

    Sad news. They will be missed.

  • CHatter

    So sad. Darek is too good-hearted to mention it, but I have to believe that another nail in the coffin was the expansion of Peas & Pickles, bumping Heights Kids out of their former space, which was bigger and in a “primer” (is that a word?) part of the walk. Nothing against P&P, mind, I’m a big fan. Will definitely go and do some shopping this weekend, choking back tears. I have a sudden insatiable craving for collectible German figurines!

  • FoodArtforKids.com

    I am eyeing those figurines too, as they are a huge hit with my campers! Maybe we can split the lot ? :)

  • karen

    Best of luck Darek. I am terribly sorry to see you leave the neighborhood. There was a time when my kids were little that I was in your store practically every day for something. So many birthday presents bought there, so many memories. We’ll miss you.

  • Mary Kim

    My family will miss Darek and Heights Kids immensely. He was always so kind to my son, who spent countless hours at the train table during his Thomas phase.

    Darek is selling all the furniture and fixtures if anyone is interested. He’s also looking to donate the train table to a preschool or organization in need.

  • Bongo

    Sad to read this, but I understand. Nothing beats a brick-and-mortar storefront for infants and kids toys. As that plot gets squeezed, we will eventually lose a convenient alternative to Grostedes, and end up with a Starbucks and Old Navy, before it turns into a tower block to complement Cadman Towers.

  • Mary

    It was sad to see the store shrink a few years ago. Now it’s leaving? A great assortment of play objects, and such nice people. You will be missed.

  • Derval Whelan

    and it’s the only place in the Heights where you can get helium balloons.

  • Banet

    They’ll sell them to you at the florist on Montague as well.

  • Andrew Porter

    They used to have a lot more strollers, but people would come in, check out features, then buy them off the internet, with no taxes. You can’t compete against that advantage.

  • Andrew Porter

    I knew that his long-term lease was up for renewal, but hoped that he could negotiate another deal that would make both Darek and the owner happy. I guess this just didn’t happen.

    Until a few weeks ago, he was still making plans for the future. He’d rearranged the display windows, was thinking about future displays.

    Another consideration: his daughter, who frequently works in the store, is going off to college.

    Here’s my photo of him in the store from a couple of years ago: