Central Plains Novelty in Delano to close

WICHITA — More than five decades after opening, Central Plains Novelty in Delano is closing.

The business opened in 1961 as R.E.’s Novelties.

“It was quite the place … back in the day,” co-owner Nancy Lawrence says of the business’ popularity.

Her mother, Louella Stewart, worked there from 1962 until she died a decade ago.

Lawrence began working for the business four years before buying it. When the owners were going to retire in 1986, she and her sister, Zandra Troeger, decided to buy it.

“We always laughed, ‘We’ll just keep mom off the streets,’” Lawrence says.

They decided to change the store’s name since it had been named after the previous owner.

The store, which is at 905 W. Douglas, sells novelties and gag gifts and does costume rentals. Now, those costumes and everything else are on sale for 50 percent off.

“After 27 years … we’re both at an age that we want to do something else while we can,” Lawrence says.

She says they’re open to selling the shop, though they’ve not advertised it, but only if the right person came along.

“We have been so big on customer service,” Lawrence says. “It’s our legacy.”

The sale will last a couple of weeks to maybe a month. When the merchandise is all sold, Lawrence says they’ll then have a sale of the fixtures.

“We own the building, so the building will be for lease,” she says.

It’s 2,000 square feet on the first floor. The second floor will not be available for lease.

Lawrence is known for putting on the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Delano and running the community’s historic website. Just because her shop is going away doesn’t mean that she is, she says.

“I’m going to continue doing those things.”