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August 26, 2009

Stock Up Now on Quirky Cards — Scribbles is Closing

Ss-scribbles-JS Burlington is about to lose its favorite stationery store. Jane Jarecki emailed Seven Days today to say that Scribbles on Church Street is closing its doors. Seven Days readers awarded Scribbles the "Best Stationer" Daysie in 2008 and 2009. Scribbles was also named the "Grooviest Gift Shop" in 2007 and 2008, and was runner-up this year. A going-out-of-business sale starts Thursday.

The Jarecki family has operated Scribbles for the past 15 years — Jane's mom Debby and dad Joe own the store. Her twin sister, Jennifer, is the manager. Jane doesn't work there much anymore, but both she and her sister helped out a lot, growing up.

"It's definitely been a difficult decision to make," says Jane in a follow-up phone interview. The recession has been hard for them, she explains. And it doesn't help that increasingly, people are sending e-cards rather than real ones. Actual, written correspondence isn't quite as popular as it used to be, and the local stationers have been feeling it for awhile now. "We just can't keep going on like this," she says. 

Jane says she hopes that the closing of her family's store will remind people to shop local, rather than at chain stores, or online. "Local businesses need support every day," she says, adding that she's seen the number of locally owned businesses on Church Street dwindle during her family's tenure there. She laments the fact that Scribbles will probably be replaced by "another corporate store."

Jane says the Jareckis are marking everything 50 percent off at their final sale, which could last up to three weeks.

What's next for the Jareckis? According to Jane, the entrepreneurial family doesn't have any concrete plans, but "schemes are already being chattered about."

"I wouldn't be surprised if another paper store resurfaced with some Jarecki-ness behind it," she says.

I'm so sorry to hear this. Scribbles is a great store, and there are not enough family owned businesses on Church St.

My suggestion: Scribbles should move to the South End, where all the businesses are local and the rents are a lot more reasonable.

Sorry to see them go, but downtown has become almost another planet to me. Parking is hit and miss, panhandlers and yet another college student in dreds thinking his juggling qualifies as entertainment. And the traffic is horrid. If I need to go to a chain that's downtown, I look for one in Lebanon, Plattsburgh, or another area. It's gotten that much of a hassle for me.

Scribbles should consider relocating to the South End, Williston, or other area that's easier to get to.

(And before someone starts, not everyone lives within walking distance of Church Street.)

It's stationery, not stationary.

Good catch, M.

I have always loved popping into Scribbles for birthday, Christmas, Valentines, MOthers DAy and Thank You cards. Not only is Scribbles' card selection superb, but I love the feel of the store, homey and quirky and always a dog or two to pet. Church St won't be the same without them, I hope the Jareckis can relocate to another Burlington location. We need to find some way to keep local family stores in business!

I also hope that Scribbles reopens in a new location. They are one of a number of downtown businesses I know I would patronize regularly if only they were more accessible. Downtown Burlington is so hostile to casual shoppers and diners. The street parking during business hours is nearly impossible even if you have the three pounds of change you need to pump into the meter. I've heard from locally owned business owners and employees that the city has been steadily fostering an economic environment that will result in an area of chain stores that exists solely for the enjoyment of tourists. Not at all the downtown we've known and loved for generations.

And as Sir Winston so wisely preempted, not everyone lives within walking/biking distance of Burlington.

Well said, Molly.

(And I'm not the Jane in the story). :-)

In Barre, parking meters are 1 hour for a quarter! It's so much easier to shop there, without having to worry about the parking meter running out because it's taken you longer than you thought to shop! Just changing the meters would help to make the downtown area more user-friendly, and maybe it would help to bring in more real shoppers rather than casual window shoppers. I too hate seeing the smaller shops that I love going out of business one by one.

This was sad news for me to learn as I came down to Church Street for work, this morning. I was just explaining to a new Burlington resident how unfriendly Church Street has become toward locals over the past five or ten years, catering more and more to tourists and college students and forcing locals to bring their business - as one other commenter noted - to other, more hospitable downtown areas. I only come downtown to work and to entertain out-of-town visitors; I haven't considered downtown Burlington a shopping destination for years. (Never mind the fact that most of the really good restaurants downtown - like Smokejacks! - have closed.) Its sad that those of us who live closest (particularly those who *are* walking or biking distance) are least likely to take advantage of Church Street and Burlington's downtown in general.

it is a painful.. recession hits the family revenue.. makes disparate
family stocks

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