A San Diego Tradition Comes Back to Coronado – Geppetto’s Toys to Open

Just three weeks ago, Toys “R” Us, a national chain of large toy stores that had been in business for over 70 years announced it was closing all 735 of U.S. stores with about 31,000 people losing their jobs. Coronado is about to get a toy store back.

Geppetto's sign Old Town
Old Town San Diego Geppetto’s.
Image: flickr

Geppetto’s Toys has been a San Diego tradition for over 40 years and is still locally owned and operated by the Miller family. The original location was in the Old Town area of San Diego and, thanks to loyal patronage, they have grown considerably in the last few decades with stores from Carlsbad to Downtown and many neighborhoods in between; from shopping malls to shopping villages and soon to Orange Avenue in Coronado.

Geppetto’s Toys, whose tagline is “a child’s fantasy,” plans to open their new location at 1146 Orange Ave near the end of April. The toy store will replace recently closed In Good Taste, whose owner after 20 years decided it was time to retire. This will be the 10th Geppetto’s location in the San Diego area and they are thrilled to be back in Coronado.

Image: Geppetto’s Toys

Geppetto’s President, Brent Miller, the son of Carol and Hadley Miller, shared that his parents owned and operated two stores in the Hotel del Coronado for two decades from the ’80s to the 2000s. One was a gift and antique store called Victorian Corner and the other was a Geppetto’s toy store. When his father died in 1992, Brian came back to San Diego from the East Coast to help get things settled. He liked being back so much that he stayed, took over the tiny toy store and grew Geppetto’s to nine locations throughout San Diego. When the Hotel Del made changes to their structure, the two stores closed in the late 2000s.

The Geppetto’s stores offer a unique selection of toys for children of all ages. They focus on fun, creative, and educational playthings ranging from baby items to games, crafts, building toys and of course outdoor active play for our Southern California lifestyle. They offer complimentary gift wrapping every day and their “Toy Experts” enjoy matching the right toy to every child. They are full of great ideas and happy to recommend age-appropriate toys that are entertaining, engaging, interactive and lots of fun!

Image: Geppetto’s Toys

Part of their mission is to be an involved part of the community surrounding each location. Brian says, “We donate hundreds of toys to schools, social service agencies, and community groups and we look forward to re-engaging with the Coronado community.” It is safe to say Geppetto’s will likely become a favorite store for many children of Coronado. From mini-scooters to all things unicorn and lots of toys in between, Geppetto’s has us covered.

Brian reminded me that the store is hiring and he encourages anyone looking for work, including high school students, to come by their hiring event this Saturday, April 7, from 8am-11am at Tartine (1106 First Street) to fill out an application and meet the toy team.

Image: Geppetto’s Toys


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Chris is a native San Diegan who has had business ties to Coronado from when the bridge still had a toll. She vowed to herself one day she would make the island her home. Chris has been an entrepreneur for over two decades as a business owner and business/life strategist and coach. Her work has been seen in magazines, blogs, The Seattle Times and The Huffington Post.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@coronadotimes.com