Years before the Westfield Valencia Town Center would be developed across the street, a 900-square-foot boutique made its debut and began a journey that would see more than three decades of change.
But the owners of Cobblestone Cottage, located in the River Oaks Shopping Center on Magic Mountain Parkway, have announced the time has come to retire the more than 30-year-old business.
“Today (Monday), we’re turning 32 years old,” said store owner Kathy Allie. “But we will be closing this summer. We’ve had a great run.”
On Sunday, she and her daughter Jamee Brandt took to social media to make the announcement and share three reasons why they have decided to soon shut down the store.
“It’s been really hard to compete with the internet,” said Brandt in a Facebook video. “We’ve been wanting to shrink the footprint of our store and the landlord wanted us to take it all or nothing and we couldn’t handle that overhead anymore.”
Allie said the third reason was that she would like to retire.
One of the most challenging aspects, the owner said, is that “it’s no secret that brick-and-mortar stores are closing all around our nation. It’s very hard to compete with someone who can sit on the sofa at night and order online. We also have a lot of big box stores around us.”
In a letter to Cobblestone Cottage employees, a team of about 18, Allie said she is proud of the business for “(bouncing) back from the 1994 earthquake, (weathering) the death of the collectibles market, (overcoming) the 2008 housing crash and (changing) with the trends.”
“I just want our closing to be a positive experience and one we can truly celebrate,” she added.
Cobblestone Cottage came to life after a trip to England. Allie, who is a longtime homemaker, said she fell in love with the European cottage lifestyle, and knew she wanted a “charming little store here.”
Since its start in 1987, the store that began as a 900-square-foot boutique quickly grew into its current size of about three storefronts wide.
On Monday, several dozen customers stopped by throughout the day to shop and show their support after hearing the announcement. One customer, Rachael Durley, said she was going to miss the store because “there’s nothing like it around here in Santa Clarita.”
Former employee Laura Chesler said she started with the business during its early years when she was still in college and reconnected with the owners over charity work when she began working with the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation. “She’s done some amazing things for the hospital. This is a heart store and you know it the second you step in.”
Besides giving back to the hospital, Cobblestone Cottage has supported several nonprofits in the past and that’s how they’d like to close the curtains, said Brandt.
“How can we go out with a bang?” she said. “We will reach out to nonprofits and ask them to come in, whether that’s for a food drive or other kind of drives. This is our last chance to support them.”
Allie said there is no official closing date but customers can soon expect closing sale announcements.