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Store founders celebrate a milestone year

Jerry said he is enjoying his retirement, but he often wishes he had a little more youth and energy to get out to the golf course.

Rose added that being married for 70 years is quite an accomplishment. "It feels pretty good," she said.

Barry Richman operates the store now and has been working there for as long as it has been around.

"It has a lot of history and a lot of consistency," he said. "It's great to be a 50-year store."

Barry said he has enjoyed watching the plaza "maintain a degree of excellence" over the years.

"They always had very high ideals about how the center should look," Richman said. "Any changes have been for the better."

He said the most noteworthy improvement has been the restaurant scene "exploding" over the last few years.

Richman describes his store as a gift department store, with several different shops. "It allows us to go with the flow," he said.

He said as discount stores and big-box store come and go and try to "gobble up" family-owned businesses, its diverse products and "eclectic" selection has allowed his store to prosper.

"You never know what the hell what we're going to do next," he said.

There is a baby section, gourmet foods section, women's accessories, clothes and, of course, greeting cards.

Richman said the gift selection has changed the most dramatically over the years, shifting away from Chinese and Japanese imports toward American hand-crafted goods.

"We have the best selection of American-made gifts of any store of its type," he said.

Buying and selling American- made goods is what people want, Barry said.

"It's the right thing to do," he said. "People just love that it's American made."

The family has expanded into other businesses, opening a Crabtree and Evelyn store in Stuyvesant Plaza and Ta-Da, a novelty toy and gift shop, in Clifton Park, as well as selling a line of Vera Bradley merchandise.

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