A cozy place to shop or just sit and socialize has opened in the Swiss Village Shops.
Cozy Corner is located at 716 N. Beeline Hwy. in Payson, next to Your Silk Garden and Payson Pet Care Veterinary Clinic.
Owner Beckie McLarty first started the shop in Pine this spring, then moved it to the Swiss Village in late June.
The shop features used books, craft items, unique gifts and greeting cards. McLarty will accept trade-ins on books and can prepare gift baskets by special order.
"I have always loved to read and do crafts," McLarty said. "I'd make yearly trips to Bookman's (a used book chain) and stock up for a year. This way, I'll never run out of anything to read."
McLarty made her home in the Valley most of her life, vacationing in the Rim Country whenever she could.
"I love it here and have been looking for property for a couple of years," she said.
McLarty worked in the corporate world before retiring. Cozy Corner is her first venture into a business of her own. Her husband, Bob, helps out when he is not running his own business in the Valley.
"I have tried to make my store very quaint, comfortable and fun," McLarty said. "Kids are always welcome and I have a special corner set up just for them to play while their parents or grandparents shop, or just stop, sit and have a complimentary cup of coffee. I want people to come here to meet and talk, not just shop for gifts or books."
The grand opening for Cozy Corner was held over the Fourth of July weekend and featured special deals on books. The trade-in policy allows readers to turn in items from their collections for replacements. McLarty said she calls the used books "gently used." She takes all genres and has the shop organized by theme and author: Cookbooks, biographies, mysteries, romances, military, horror, science fiction and large print.
If a customer can't find what they're looking for, McLarty can order their selection.
The inventory changes all the time. McLarty just bought a 5,000-book collection on e-Bay and is currently sorting through it and shelving her finds.
"It arrived in six, four-by-four cubic boxes," she said of the purchase. She sorted the contents into about 100 boxes and is going through everything again.
"It will probably take me three months to get through it all," she said.
Beyond the books, Cozy Corner is also a gift store.
"All of the gift items are one-of-a-kind and probably not found any place else," she said. "Many are handcrafted and the prices are very reasonable."
Gift items can be personalized, McLarty said, but there will be a delay for the service to be completed. She said the length of time depends on the gift, but nothing should take more than two weeks.
The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Call (928) 476-5300.
-- To reach Teresa McQuerrey call 474-5251 ext. 113 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.