Tammy’s Baby Shoppe has served hundreds of Manteca area moms for decades from its opening in 1983 to a projected closing date of April 15.
Will and Tammy Holland first opened their retail store in a small strip mall at the corner of Northgate Drive and North Main Street. They moved from one store front to another to meet their growing needs. Tammy has always been in the store especially for the prospective new moms needing guidance and encouragement.
Tammy went into business with her active, young business partner, her 4-month-old son Timothy. He was with his mom every step of the way. She said she thought about opening a business long and hard and imagined how great it would be having her toddler with her every day after he was born. She is a Lathrop native who graduated from East Union High School in 1976.
She welcomed moms in the community to bring their nearly new baby clothes that their children had outgrown – as well as maternity outfits – and put them on consignment in her store. It was a successful venture with them making 70 percent of the sale price and Tammy 30 percent.
The store includes a play area for children to use while their mothers were shopping. One of her best memories was that of her mother Mary Ann Kullman giving her a large Pooh Bear for her store to be its mascot.
Tammy’s Baby Shoppe, now in the 100 block of North Main Street, has reached out to its mothers and grandmothers outside Manteca from Modesto to Oakdale, Tracy, Ripon and Escalon – even having some from Fresno, Atwater, and Lodi as well as far away as Pacific Grove where husband Will is making a large delivery in a few days.
Tammy said “precious memories” keep flooding back as she walks through the store actually going down memory lane and remembering the happiest times for her. One longtime friend she remembers coming into the store after she finally conceived and sharing her exciting news.
One customer who had four children and had been a lifetime customer bought a complete set of new furniture every time a new child was born.
“I always got to hear the good news first,” she chuckled, “learning the sex and name of the baby when I help the moms register as a new customer – it has been exciting as well in seeing my second generation moms come back through the door.”
She remembers the special aprons she had ordered for her staff members to wear at work. Each had its own message from “Out of Control,” to “Shop Small” and “Thomas Day” and including “25th Anniversary.” She said one of her clerks came back into the store last week and she gave her back all of her aprons.
The couple fondly remembers their first employee, Jane Braley, who wore many hats from being their spiritual mentor who they say demonstrated a lot of wisdom and great insight. She was with them for many years, they said.
Balina Keener worked for them for some 12 years and Jennifer Machado was on staff for 10 years. “She came in to say good bye last week and a few tears were shed,” Tammy thrilled.
Monday was their youngest son’s 20th birthday and she was curious to see what he would remember about growing up in the baby shop.
“I asked Drew if he remembered the time he picked up a brick when he was a youngster trying to kill a fly on the glass rear entry door?” Another time a customer came through the rear door and was drawn to an Armoire and jumped back when she opened its cabinet doors and to her surprise saw 4-year-old Drew inside. Drew is now at Loyola Marymount University. Their older son Timothy, 34, works in analysis marketing.
Will said they will be officially be closing on April 15 – Easter Sunday – and start a new day, a new life on Monday.
“We’re hoping people will pop in and say goodbye,” they both said.
Will said they are planning to take a long awaited vacation after being married for 38 years. He then hopes to go to school to get his real estate license and Tammy, well, she is planning to work from home selling baby goods on a much smaller scale for her longtime customers.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email email@example.com.