WESTFIELD – COVID-19 delayed the opening of a new toy store in the city, but owners Ray and Noreen Vigneault said they plan to open Playnow Toy and Game next week and provide some much needed fun and games.
Located at 5 East Silver St. right next to Big Y, Playnow Toy and Game will be almost like the toy stores from yesteryear. Vigneault said he works directly with toy companies that offer something you won’t find just anywhere.
“We have a wide range of games, puzzles, balls, educational materials – things you don’t usually find in a store like WalMart,” said Ray Vigneault. “We’ll have Barbies and Hot Wheels too, but we strive to have something different.”
Vigneault, who said his wife Noreen would classify him as a big kid, worked for a large toy company chain for a decade. When he left for other corporate opportunities, he missed the fun he felt going to work each day in a toy store.
“I have three adult children and when I worked there, they were kids and I got to be the cool dad,” Vigneault recalled. “Now they are grown up, but I miss the toy store. I miss the smiles on the faces of the customers.”
The Vigneaults plan to bring many smiles to the faces of their new customers in Westfield and beyond. The Belchertown residents said when they were looking for a location for their store, Westfield stood out as a great location and a community with many opportunities.
“The city has been great to work with,” Vigneault said. “Other than COVID-19, it was a smooth process.”
He said when the shutdowns due to the pandemic hit, they were put about two months behind schedule and he hopes to open June 15. Until then, he does offer a limited online toy store at playnowtoy.com.
“I just can’t wait to open,” he said. “I can’t wait to meet our customers and see their smiles – it’s a whole different atmosphere in a toy store than other kinds of businesses.”
Playnow Toy and Game will start with a soft opening with all social distancing rules in place, including allowing only 10 customers inside at a time. Vigneault will also offer curbside pickup during the pandemic and said he can special order almost any toy a customer wants.