Occupying the former Sew Chateau space at 833 Via de la Paz, Loomey’s Toy Boutique opened on March 26.
Owner Amanda Rastegar, who has lived in Pacific Palisades since 2009, wanted to open a “mom-and-pop” store where “I could have a lot of local kids working.
“My vision was to have kids help pick out the inventory, work here and continue working until they go off to college,” she said, noting that it could become a complete cycle, with the older ones coming back to work summers, helping youngsters select toys – and keeping these kids connected to the community.
Middle-school workers Finn and Jackson, who are on spring break, were happy to help this editor pick out candy – chocolate-covered gummy bears. While they were ringing up the purchase today, I chatted with the owner.
“I grew up in Seattle,” Rastegar said. “A friend flew down just to choose the candy and the packaging and set up the display.”
Toys include gifts for infants to eight-year-olds – and she has a large selection of educational toys.
This is Rostegar’s first retail operation, and she was asked “Why toys?” After working for more than 15 years with the Warner Bros. CEO, she decided to make a career switch.
“I wanted to stay connected to my kids and the community,” Rastegar, a single mom, said. Her daughter Darby attends Palisades High and son Max attends Paul Revere. The store’s name comes from mixing the kids’ pet nicknames, “Loo” and “Moomey.”
She had volunteered as a Girl Scout troop leader and wanted to find a way to keep her, and her children and their friends connected to the community. “Toys are happy,” she said. “I can put a catalogue in front of my kids and ask them what they might pick out for a five-year-old.”
Employees Finn and Jackson, who are friends with Max, pointed out various must-have’s for middle schoolers, including Tech Decks, Pokemon, a Buddha Board, magic sets, nerf footballs and fidgets.
Jackson explained that a Buddha Board allows one to paint on the surface with water, but when the water evaporates the art also disappears. “It’s really satisfying,” he said.
There are also dippin’ dots in a freezer by the front door. The flash-frozen ice cream is an absolutely delicious snack, and this may be the only location in town to buy it.
Rastegar said she had a lot of help from her mom friends, which she developed while her kids were attending local schools. “My goal is to bring the fun back to the kids of the Palisades after a hard couple of years.”
The store is about 1,050 square feet, and since the building is for sale, Rastegar was only able to secure a one-year lease.
“When I was looking for a space,” she said, “a lot of landlords wanted a big name—they didn’t want the brick-and-mortar small business.”
Okay, Palisades residents, here’s your chance to support a local business, even if it’s stopping by for dippin’ dots – or candy.
The store offers free gift wrapping. One can order ahead, and curbside pickup is available. Call: 424-330-0229 or visit:loomeystoys.com.