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WorkinCT: Amato’s Toy and Hobby in Middletown serving generations for nearly eight decades

MIDDLETOWN -- There’s a store on Main Street in Middletown that will make children’s eyes go wide in amazement. In each aisle, there’s a new toy to discover at Amato’s Toy and Hobby of Middletown.

“It’s a fun environment, the products are fun, you can play with them, you can learn about them,” said Diane Gervais, owner of Amato’s Toy and Hobby of Middletown.

Amato’s has been in business for 79 years. It was started with a creation from Gervais’ dad.

“Amato’s started in 1940 when my dad was a teenager and decided to start selling model airplanes to his friends,” said Gervais.

It’s grown since then with more toys stocking the shelves surrounding those model airplanes that her dad used to sell.

Over the decades, it’s remained competitive in a world of big-box stores and online retailers. Gervais said that’s thanks to the store’s push to keep evolving.

“We keep up with our customers’ interests, and you know, some things are timeless. Customer service and quality products are timeless, and we’re here because our customers are still looking for those things,” said Gervais.

Those customers are another big part of the store’s success.

“Growing up in the toy store, I’ve realized how much of an impact we’ve had on generations of families,” said Caroline Gervais, Diane’s daughter and the next generation to lead Amato’s.

The parents now bringing their own children to the toy store they frequented as kids. It’s a tradition that isn’t lost on the Gervais with three-generations now running the store.

“There are people who come on a weekly basis with their kids, or a weekly basis just by themselves on their lunch hour. It’s just a really fun place to be,” said Caroline.

The store hosts different events, too, including its famous Train Land, which runs on weekends. More information can be found on the store’s Facebook page by clicking here.

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