Kaboodles Toy Store is an award-winning, locally owned, independent toy store. We’re toy experts! We carry all sorts of fun toys, from traditional and classic to downright zany! All our toys are staff-tested and approved by our amazing team. We have three locations including Granville Island, Cambie & 18th, and our newest location in Kitsilano. The Kaboodles Store in Downtown Victoria is now owned by the former manager, and operates as a sister store under the same brand.
Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?
Answer: We work with about 80 vendors. In terms of our inventory, we do buy the helium gas for our balloons locally, but not many toys are made in Canada. We do buy from Canadian based companies who might produce offshore. We have several toy suppliers based in Vancouver and Victoria who used to manufacture in B.C., but they have moved to offshore production. Even when the products aren’t made here, we are buying from B.C. and Canadian companies, and Canadian distributors. Most products are still shipped out of the U.S., but there are local sales representatives who work here. Some of the bigger companies still have warehouses in Ontario, but many have had to cut back by closing warehouses in the last 10-12 years.. As a small company, we often can’t buy direct, because our orders are too small.
We purchase as many of our services as possible from B.C.-based companies. We have a local contractor who does our window washing, our accounting and bookkeeping is local, all our client meetings and meals are at local restaurants, and we love banking with our local Vancity credit union – they’re a great bank and they also support the community. I’m on the board of the Point Grey Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) and we use the community room in the local branch for all our board meetings now. All our construction, repair, maintenance, insurance, web design, content and strategy is with local companies. Our benefits are with a Canadian supplier based in Winnipeg.
Question: What social and environmental practices are you proud of?
Answer: We are a small grass roots business, run by genuine people – maybe we’re a bit old fashioned that way. We are really a lot like a family, and work hard to create a great environment for our staff. We do a lot of training and we invest in our people; we just hired a 17-year old, we often hire folks who have moved here from out of the country, we hire LGBTQ2 staff. We take care of our staff, and offer everyone a safe and healthy work environment. We are also respectful of the other toy businesses that are our competition.
We make regular donations to local causes, often donating a big toy as a grand prize for fundraiser galas. We donate to the local preschools, libraries, and contribute time to the BIA as a board member. We also contribute staff and materials for Point Grey Fiesta Day every year in June. We organize a craft table, face painters, and give away free helium balloons.
In terms of the environment, we’re very careful with our recyclables, and try to reduce our consumption of paper and energy. We retrofitted all our stores with energy efficient bulbs, and installed them in our new store during renovations. We repurposed quite a few fixtures for our new store from other retailers who were closing down. We bought a cash desk and shelving from another toy store that closed a location and bought some other shelving from a bedding store closing down on Broadway. As a local business, we have the freedom to have each of our locations look a little different, and it gives the store a nice feeling in addition to saving materials.