Occasions Etc in Menlo Park

The most Menlo of all Menlo downtown merchants — Carrie and Colin Jenkins both grew up here and they’ve raised three children here — are soon packing up and leaving the retail store, Occasions, etc…, they’ve operated for 26 years. Friday, June 8, will be the start of their final clearance sale.

At the end of June, a truck will pull up in front of their Menlo Park home, and they’ll be off to Corvallis, Oregon. And to the relief of long-time customers, they’ll be taking their business with them.

“We have all of our customer files, so we can continue to fulfill orders,” said Colin.

Quipped Carrie: “We started in our garage and are going back to our garage. We already take a lot of orders via email.”

The close to three decades they’ve supplied locals with first sports trophies and then also personalized gifts, holds a lot of memories. Thinking of the oddest order, they recalled the time they bronzed a bagel. They also remember Shirley Temple Black coming in a buying a plastic Oscar. They didn’t ask why.

Carrie and Colin have been thinking about making a move out of the Bay Area for awhile. Their youngest is now a sophomore, and he was amenable to relocating and finishing his final two years at the well-rated Corvallis High School.

“Colin has been working six days a week for 15 years,” said Carrie. “But we love what we’re doing and love our customers. Kids we knew are now buying things for their babies.”

The cite their great landlord as another reason they’ve stayed in  business. Colin said he’ll miss his fellow merchants along Santa Cruz Avenue as well as the with the near perfect Menlo Park weather.

Carrie also will miss walking down the street and running into at least one person she knows. But she has high hopes for Corvallis. “The people are so nice and friendly. They stop and introduce themselves, so they don’t stay strangers long!”

Photo by Irene Searles (c) 2018