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Keeping the magic alive: NW Portland toy store shakes off overnight break-in

Mudpuddles Toys and Books takes pride in being part of the community. Owner Kate Noreen is staying positive after someone threw a brick into the store overnight.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The sunshine was a welcome sight on Friday morning on Northwest 23rd Avenue in Portland.

“I love owning a business on Northwest 23rd,” said Kate Noreen. “I think we are the O.G. of the shopping districts in Portland, and owning a business on Northwest 23rd is literally a dream come true.” 

Noreen owns Mudpuddles Toys and Books and her favorite thing is being a part of the community.

“When people come in and buy, they are giving them as most of the time for gifts or to celebrate something. So I feel like we get to be a part of the family celebrations, we get to be a part of that child's story,” she said.

Unfortunately, last night she learned being in business isn’t all fun and games.

Credit: Kate Noreen

“It was very upsetting. It's just been a tough year, tough week. When you think things can't get much worse, somebody throws a brick through the window,” said Noreen.

A puddle of glass outside the front door that was quickly boarded up. Noreen says it’s not the welcome she’d like for customers who come in to peruse, but a little broken glass isn’t going to take the wind out of her sales.

“Oh, you can't find toys from literally age 0-100-plus…we have a huge selection of puzzles right now that's been a new mainstay for 2020,” she smiled.

Picking up the pieces will be relatively easy. Nothing was stolen, it appears the burglar was looking for cash. Today it was business as usual in a time of year that can really make or break a store.

We are keeping the store clean and sanitized, requiring masks, and maintaining social distance by limiting the number of people in the store to provide a safe shopping experience. Sherwood store hours are Monday-Saturday from 10-6 and Sunday 11-5. Portland store hours are Monday-Saturday 11-6 and Sunday 11-5.

“Please remember your neighborhood retailers,” said Noreen. “We're all trying to do different ways to shop. We've got a great website, we're doing curbside pickup, we're doing deliveries, we're doing safe in-store shopping.”

Noreen has sympathy for whoever broke in, there’s desperation out there in just plain weird times. Portland Police say there have been at least 10 other burglaries in the Northwest 23rd area since early October. The pandemic is taking a toll on the whole community, and Kate is staying positive to keep the magic inside and in the community, alive.

“You know whether they're opening that up for their birthday or they just got a great grade or they got their immunizations, you know there's a reason that they're celebrating and we get to be part of that celebration.”

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