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San Marino Stationers Closing: Share Your Memories

After over 57 years in the community, San Marino Stationers is officially closing its doors Friday. Share your memories of the store in the comments section below.

We brought you news last week that San Marino Stationers may be closing, as manager Jo Lynn Bolton told Patch, and now it is official. The business that opened in San Marino in 1954 will close its doors Friday, the day before its lease ends.

“It’s been so sad,” said Bolton about the past couple weeks leading up to closing. “I feel like the undertaker. Everyone has been so loving and supportive and sharing all their memories with me.”

While Bolton previously told Patch that three options were discussed for the store—getting investors, partnering with a business or closing the brick and mortar store completely—she said Wednesday that things weren’t falling into place fast enough.

“It all comes down to the economy,” Bolton told Patch about what ultimately helped seal the store’s fate.

Some potential investors were friends and Bolton said she didn’t want to involve friends in taking a risk on the investment.  

Jo Lynn took over fully managing the store after her daughters Janelle and Katie moved on to other places and phases in life. The daughters grew up in San Marino with the family whose relatives opened the family whose relatives opened San Marino Stationers so it’s been a big part of their lives.

A photo from Halloween 1979 of Bolton’s daughter Katie, with her friend Suzie Minoux (daughter of the former owners) standing in San Marino Stationers as young girls in homemade princess costumes sits in the store.

“I think that kind of says it all,” Bolton said of the nostalgic photo. “That’s what everyone’s experience is.”

Bolton recalled a customer who came in recently and shared how she bought candles for her wedding at San Marino Stationers.

“She told me, ‘Don’t be sad. You’ve been part of a San Marino institution and have done a great job.’

“It makes your heart full to get these compliments."

San Marino Stationers’ Future

Though the brick and mortar San Marino Stationers shop is closing, certain custom items and custom printing will be available through other stores that Bolton is currently speaking with. Bolton is also taking her custom card business online that includes cards inspired by the successful novel Cliff Falls, penned by San Marino author Cliff Shiepe.

Bolton is currently taking email sign-ups in the store for those who want to stay updated about when the new San Marino Stationers website goes live.

Check back on Patch for updates.

A butterfly painted by Bolton is the symbol of the new San Marino Stationers online venture.

“This idea of transformation is how I want people to think of it,” said Bolton. “We’re not dying just changing and a part of it will live on.”

San Marino Stationers History

Opened in 1954, San Marino Stationers has had three locations, including its last in San Marino Courtyard. However, the shop used to take up the space of four current storefronts, stretching from where Jasmine Café is to where Alma B Café is currently, with four large sections devoted to party supplies, office and school supplies, stationery and greeting cards.

The shop also used to have a postal sub-station and people would come to copy or fax documents when faxing became all the rage in the 1980s, said Bolton, who managed the store for a stint at the time.

When the property was eventually sold again it was broken up into four storefronts as it is today, with San Marino Stationers being one of the storefronts.

What are your memories of San Marino Stationers? What will you miss about this San Marino institution? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Gilda Moshir March 29, 2012 at 03:56 AM
That is very sad, I love this store, glad there will be an online presence. Yes, please include me on when your online business goes up. Good luck
Laura Lou December 06, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Awesome shop...will miss you, look forward to hearing when we can shop online.

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