Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mitchell's 1953-2008

After 55 years of doing business in Delaware, I am profoundly sad to announce that Mitchell’s Trains, Toys and Hobbies will be closing.

Family owned and operated during our entire 55 years in business, Mitchell’s opened in July 3 of 1953, after John and Hanna Mitchell purchased Bennet’s 5¢ and 10¢ store in the Fairfax Shopping Center. This store, wedged in front of the Fairfax Bowling Alley, was more of a lane than a store. Mitchell’s operated in this small facility for two years before moving over to the site of the existing Walgreens in the Fairfax Shopping Center for the next 42 years. In 1997, Mitchell’s moved from the South portion of the Shopping Center to the North portion, downsizing from 15,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet and concentrating on it’s strengths – trains, toys and hobbies

The current owners, John & Hannah’s children, are Joe & Jack Mitchell and their sister Joan Hicks. All three of the owners were a part of the store from it’s beginnings until the end. All of the owners of the company have decided to retire and exit the retail business completely.

The Mitchell Family is quite proud that John and Hanna Mitchell’s dream lasted fifty five years. Through the years four generations and 23 members of the Mitchell family have worked at Mitchell’s. All four of John and Hannah’s children – Jack, Joan (Hicks), Joe and Judy (Bonisawski) Mitchell worked there. Nine of John and Hannah’s grandchildren worked there as well as five of their great grandchildren.

Most of Mitchell’s employees have been a part of the store for 20 years and longer. Bonnie Kincaid’s first day was August 23, 1960 – she is finishing her 48th year of employment at Mitchell’s. Manager Doug Arnold’s first day was August 22nd, 1973. Sales clerk Alice Lewis started at Mitchell’s on August 31st, 1977.

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