FAIR HAVEN: GIFTS AND THREADS IN CHURN

Threads Too plans to take over space now occupied by the China Closet, which is relocating to larger space in town. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThere’s some interesting domino-effect shuffling about to take place among shops in Fair Haven, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.

The China Closet plans to occupy all of 756 River Road, a former bank space its owner has purchased. Needlepoint supplier Threads, below, is closing later this month. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Threads, at 804 River Road, is closing on October 28 upon the retirement of owner Marla Chaikin. The needlepoint supply shop has been operating for more than 25 years, according to notice on its website, which says the business will continue its online operation.

• Two local women have acquired Chaikin’s inventory and accounts, and plan to reopen the business across the street, at 795 River Road, as Threads Too.

Longtime friends Diane Baxter of Locust and Barbara Keating of Fair Haven tell Churn they’ve been customers for decades of Chaikin’s shop, which is something of a needlepoint Mecca in Monmouth County. On hearing it was closing, they felt a sense of dread.

“We didn’t know where we were going to feed our habit,” says Keating. So they bought it.

While the core business will remain the same, Keating and Baxter say they’re planning to add some new offerings, including adult needlepoint classes, and make an outreach to children to get them into the nerve-calming craft as well.

“People think it’s hard, but it’s not,” she says. “I tell them it’s like paint-by-numbers, with thread.”

Threads Too plans to open Black Friday, November 24.

• That plan depends, somewhat, on the successful execution of an ambitious plan by Laurie Caccavo, owner of the China Closet and Home Furnishings, which now occupies the 1,100-square-foot space Threads Too is taking over.

Through a limited liability company, Caccavo recently acquired the two-story office building at 756 River Road, on the corner of Fair Haven Road, for $795,000. She’s planning to stock both floors of the 2,400-square-foot structure, which has about 15 parking spaces, with her “high-end” giftware.

The move is a milestone for the business, which began four years ago in Caccavo’s Rumson home as a provider of rental dinnerware and moved into its current space just two years ago. Propelled in part by a wedding registry business managed by Caccavo’s 29-year-old daughter, Victoria Gerlach, the China Closet has outgrown the cozy storefront.

It’s also a deeply satisfying coda to a family tragedy that compelled the mother of four, who hadn’t been in the workforce for 30 years, to venture into the business world.

“I started my business thinking, ‘let me give this a try,'” she said, her eyes welling up a bit. “And I nailed it.”

Caccavo is nearing completion on interior renovations and plans to paint the brick exterior a muted grey in time for a November 1 opening, she tells Churn.