Images courtesy of Tricia Logan-Locke
“It’s scary but it’s very exciting at the same time,” said retiring Celtic Corner owner and store manager Tricia Logan-Locke about her and her husband’s pending move to Scotland in March 2022.
Logan-Locke’s mother, Marjorie, started Scottish Treasures – now better known as Celtic Corner – over 30 years ago, setting up shop 25 years ago in Coronado; in the beginning residing at the Ferry Landing. The family-owned Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English import business includes kilt rentals and custom kilts plus an extensive line of jewelry from Ireland and Scotland.
The family would travel to Scottish games around the country and started in retail with custom teddy bears dressed in classic Scottish fashions which Marjorie hand-dresses. The bears have remained popular over the years, and when word spread this would be Celtic Corner’s last season of travelling to events and setting up shop, people were snatching them up, Logan-Locke observed.
But she assures customers they’ll be able to order the special bears online in some way, shape or form, and her mum will continue to hand-dress her bears.
“We didn’t really anticipate going to Scotland for retirement and originally we planned on Wyoming, and then overnight, we changed our minds,” Logan-Locke said; she was born in Scotland and has always wanted to return to live.
Logan-Locke and her husband Mike, retired recently after well over 20 years of service in his career, knew they would close the shop soon, wrap up their event schedule, and head off somewhere.
Events have started to return since the pandemic hit, she described, but the state has been reopening slowly and other states sometimes cancel events last-minute. She added how they don’t do that many events compared to other retailers but they aim for about 12 per year with September being their busiest time. Recently they visited Northern California and Colorado with outdoor venues which were well-attended.
While Marjorie’s teddy bear supplier has changed over time (they used Bearington Bears at one point), the handmade clothes haven’t nor the aspect of a jointed bear to properly fit and dress them. Logan-Locke remarked jointed bears are harder for her mom to find nowadays.
The brick-and-mortar shop’s last official day will be Dec. 31, 2021 with the new year bringing the team in to wind down further and clean up. They’re planning on an intimate invitation-only event to celebrate the 30-plus years they’ve been in business and to say goodbye to long-time customers.
“We have our moments where it’s all we think about after all these years,” said Logan-Locke, a former legal secretary and instructor. “It wasn’t my first career; it was my second career. Although I have worked in the business the whole time. But I am looking forward to the changes ahead.”
She continued how it’s sad to leave all the loyal customers but that they do plan to sell the website to small business owners who are friends, who can then provide the same quality products and great customer service that’s expected.
Logan-Locke discussed how they’re primarily working on the future of the kilt end of their business. There are no kilt storefronts left in Southern California, she shared. And a lot of people have been asking about the items and how to handle the necessary custom measurements. The owner said she has some ideas on how to accomplish that with colleagues in Northern California and having an option to set appointments and work from the other side of the pond, she said.
“When we were at the Ferry Landing, the annual shop open houses are some of the best memories,” Logan-Locke said, explaining how the wide open area fostered a wonderful event. They would have highland dancing, Irish dancers, music and food.
The couple, with one daughter residing in Orange County, is mulling over a bed and breakfast or Airbnb business in Scotland. But may instead be vacation-relievers for existing B&B business owners who need a break. Logan-Locke also mentioned arranging travel for older clientele who want to hike, as she and her husband are familiar with balancing the desire to enjoy the outdoors physically as well as make it a great experience.
The couple will start out living on the east side of Loch Lomond in the family cabin owned by Logan-Locke’s mother.
“There’s a fair amount of maintenance needing done since we have not been able to travel to Scotland since 2019,” Logan-Locke said. “Once the work is done, we will start renting it for weekly vacations again.”
The cabin sits near the edge of Loch Lomond with a stunning view of the loch and Ben Lomond.
“We’re retiring and it’s a good thing,” she said.
Needless to say, the storefront, it’s cherished offerings and soul-stirring weekend bagpipe music will be missed by many.