- Retail Store Closed after 24 Years
Retail Store Closed after 24 Years
June 14th, 2015
Dear Firestore Friends and Customers,
It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of our Shop after 24 years. Effective Sunday, June 14th. While we will thoroughly research the possibility of reopeneing the shop, for the time being we will be operating the Internet On-Line Store only. We have relocated the web site to a temporary location where we will resume shipping as soon as we are finished setting up.
If you have an order pending, we thank you in advance for your patience and understanding, and we promise we will take care of EVERYONE.
While the closing was a sudden development, the end for the Shop really came five years ago when they closed St. Vincent's Hospital. This pulled several thousand people out of the area each day. For the past five years we have been dying a slow death, borrowing from here to pay there, depleting our savings, selling our home, trying to find a level where the math worked, but each year the target moved a little further away. This year we were finally done in by construction all around the shop, road closures, and the final blow--the building was wrapped in scaffolding two months ago. A perfect storm for retail failure.
It's been over 24 years, but I can remember so vividly the guys from L20, and other units visiting the old FDNY Medical Center on Lafayette asking "what's all this?" when we opened "New York Firefighter's Friend" in March of 1991. They seemed surprised that anyone would open a "Fire Store"...they knew about "Cop Shops", but a "Fire Store"?
It was the very definition of a local "Mom & Pop" store. The entire space was maybe 250 Sq Ft.. I built much of the shelving and storage from scratch, and my mother and father (Ellie & Nate) were there most days for the next 12 years. My sister (Talia) and I would work when it was busy or the parents needed time off. A year or so later we expanded next door. And in 1997 we opened our own "Cop Shop" next door to that called "New York 911".
15 years at Lafayette St. and now 9+ on Greenwich Ave....it has been an honor for my family to be a small part of the 1st Responder Community.
Now, what I opened with my parents and sister, and where many other friends and family have worked, I close with my wife and son....3 generations have worked the store.
Our very last customer was a family with a little chubby cheeked blond 2 yr old boy. He wanted the fire rain boots that were still in the window....Annie got the boots out and showed them to him...he grabbed them and held them to his chest. The parents offered to pay for them, but Annie declined, then she said here, he should "have the helmet to match", and handed them a kids helmet. The little boys smile was huge, then she handed them the kids fire raincoat so he could have the full outfit. He was a very happy little boy. I can not think of a better last customer than a wide eyed little boy who wants to dress like his heroes, and maybe, like many of the little boys that used play with the trucks on the floor of the shop, he will one day be a real firefighter.
We look forward to seeing you on our web site, and on Facebook.
Thank you for 24 wonderful years,
Noam, Annie, Michael, Nate, Ellie & Talia