ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It has stood for decades as one of the quirkiest and most unique gift shops in Albuquerque.
Now, the locally owned Nob Hill favorite, “Beeps” says it’s closing its doors next month for good.
The store at the corner of Carlisle Boulevard and Central Avenue made the announcement Monday, saying the brick and mortar retailer will close on Feb. 5, 2018.
The store’s founder and owner, Mary Reed, 70, says it’s time for her to retire. It’s not a decision Reed takes lightly though.
“Local businesses are what make a city,” said Reed.
Reed, who opened the business 32 years ago when she moved to Albuquerque, has spent years stocking it with funny greeting cards, goofy toys, beautiful art, jewelry and more.
Many customers have come to love its unique offerings.
“This is the only place in town to buy something eclectic, that you relate to personally,” said Julianne Gallegos, who’s been shopping at Beeps since the late 90’s.
Even younger shoppers have been going to Beeps across generations.
“My grandpa has been taking me here since I was a little girl,” said Jyden Lopez, another Beeps customer.
Business owner Reed says it’s time to say goodbye to her beloved shop in order to move on to the next chapter of her life.
“It’s about time,” said Reed. “I’ve been thinking about it for quite a while.”
Reed says she’ll miss the business, but “feels good” about what she’s been able to do with it.
“I feel good about my store and what I’ve done and what I’ve given back to Albuquerque, and what Albuquerque’s given to me, it’s a two way street,” said Reed.
While disruptions from the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project have been a hot topic in the public realm, Reed says “ART” didn’t factor into her decision.
“I had a wonderful holiday season, my sales were strong, it had nothing to do with ART,” said Reed. “Why would I do it now when they’re finally getting rid of the barrels? I lived through all of that, no!”
Having worked in the retail business for four decades now, Reed says it’s just time to retire.
“I’m 70 years old, I’ve got to claw my way through my 70’s!” chuckled Reed. “I’ve got to keep moving, you know, I can’t stay mentally young forever… I mean hopefully, I can.”
Employees say it’ll be hard to leave.
“It’s a really fun place, super fun customers,” said Keara Dayton, a clerk at Beeps.
“Albuquerque has been…. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” exclaimed Reed. “I love my peeps in Albuquerque! Santa Fe people come down and I always laugh because they say, ‘on the way to the airport, we’re going to stop off and see you!’ and that’s the way they’d always do, you know?”
Reed just hopes she’s left Albuquerque and others smiling.
“As long as I let people come to a place where they can have fun, to me that’s the about all, how much more can you give?” said Reed. “That’s about the best right there.”
Reed says the store will close on Feb. 5, but maintain regular hours until then and have a final close out sale.
Reed says she’s hopeful someone younger will step up and fill the void with a new store of their own.
“I think every small store like mine, that’s what gives Albuquerque its flavor, it’s the heart and soul of the city, and they need to nurture the local businesses here,” said Reed.
You may have wondered how “Beeps” got its name. Before she opened in Albuquerque, Reed owned and operated two stores in Minnesota called, “Briar Patch.”
Reed says her brother quickly came up with the Albuquerque store’s name in order to finalize a loan she applied for. The name “Beeps,” Reed says, is a reference to her previous “Briar Patch” stores, which were sometimes called “B-P’s.”