Thursday, January 26, 2023

Celtic Corner Fights Melodiously Despite Devastating Retail Roller Coaster

Visit the Celtic Corner at 916 Orange Avenue for bagpipe tunes late on Saturday afternoons.

The Celtic Corner used to call the Ferry Landing home, but in 2012 headed to 916 Orange Avenue, a spot where one can enjoy gelato next door while listening to the unexpectedly alluring live bagpipe music during the pandemic.

Coronado resident Dave Samara graces the storefront late Saturday afternoons.

“It really helps,” said Celtic Corner owner Trish Locke of Samara and his musical contribution. “He’s such a sweetheart.”

Locke said Samara offered to start playing when the pandemic hit and now comes practically every weekend, taking a short break between melodic stints. Samara plays with the House of Scotland Pipe Band.

The popular novel series and subsequent television series “Outlander” have added to the allure of Scottish treasures, history and lore.

“This tears at your heart actually,” Locke said of the pandemic business situation.

For 24 years, the Celtic Corner has been a warrior in retail, Locke having been in the shop just over 20 years now, her parents starting the business.

“To watch what has happened in the last year is just devastating,” she said. “You’re just grasping at every straw.”

The shop-owner said she keeps pondering what grant she can apply for next; “it’s just constant.”

The store offers quality imports from Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales as well as special holiday collections, gifts, jewelry, hats, shoes, boots and other accessories – there’s something for everyone.

Locke described that one of the hardest parts about managing a business during the pandemic is how sometimes you can sell well but you may not have enough money from beforehand to buy more product, which was especially a concern at Christmas. Always her busiest month, she wasn’t sure if she’d have enough stock to get through the holiday.

The corner boutique provides kilt rentals as well as custom-made kilts among other customized items.

Locke would get what she could last-minute when things started to pick up. She would look around the shop and try to order what was needed. Then things would get terrible and she would have to stop ordering again.

“I’m just devastated,” she reiterated about what’s going on right now; it reminds her of last June when they first reopened and it was a horrific month. “I’m just hoping for Valentine’s sales.”

Upon closer perusal, the Celtic Corner is a treasure in itself, with tokens of interest for both locals and tourists.

Locke is also working hard on her website, putting as much as she can into figuring out how to have a strong virtual presence. Usually she does about a dozen Scottish events a year on the road with the shop and never had time for the website before. Nearing 60, she admits it’s a very difficult transition during a challenging time for so many.

Celtic Corner
916 Orange Avenue, 619-435-1880
11 am – 4 pm Sunday | 10 am – 4 pm Monday-Friday | 10 am – 6 pm Saturday

Trish Locke runs the Celtic Corner and kindly donned her kilt skirt for a photo in front of her family’s shop.

Aly Lawson
Aly Lawson
Aly has a BA in mass communication, emphasizing journalism and public relations, and a MBA in marketing. She has worked as a reporter and marketer in various industries and overseas. She also won a best community business story award from the Nevada Press Association in 2017. Originally from Washington, this is her second time living in Coronado, where her husband is stationed as a Navy helicopter pilot. They have two small children and the whole family adores Coronado. Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]