Locally owned and operated under Rob Pickering and his family, Snapdoodle Toys & Games first opened its door in Kenmore, Wash. during the 2008 recession. Unexpectedly, he saw the business boom as parents still found ways to buy their children presents even during rocky times. Inspired by the families he met during his first year of business, Pickering knew he wanted to help bring more positivity to other cities in Washington. This pushed his decision to expand to five more locations around the area, including one in the heart of Bellevue.
Opened in July, Snapdoodle Toys & Games now offers a vast selection of games, novelties, puzzles, and more to the Downtown Bellevue community. Pickering said he’s excited to see the business thrive and believes Bellevue deserves a place where kids can discover the joy of picking out their favorite toys and games. Read on to hear more about Pickering’s favorite part about working Downtown, why he enjoys owning a toy shop and his favorite places around the city.
When you were planning to open a business, why did you decide on a toy store?
I knew if I wanted to open a business, it would be one where we could make people happy. When my wife and I traveled, we visited toy stores, bakeries, bookstores, and coffee shops, places with a comforting atmosphere where people often spend most of their time at. We adopted that idea and brought it here to the Pacific Northwest in the form of Snapdoodle Toys & Games. This isn’t about making money, it’s about that joy we feel when a family finally finds something they’ve wanted for a while. It’s been quite a journey, but the smiles we see are worth the trouble.
What makes Snapdoodle Toys & Games stand out from other similar shops in the area?
One thing is our customer service. We do our best to hire people who are always friendly and upbeat. Every single person on our staff right now brings such a warm and welcoming energy to our business.
Of course, our product also makes us stand apart. The quality of our toys is essential to us. We want to send families home with items that last and are worth the money they spent. Our toys and games are based on different interests, including arts, science, puzzles, music, outdoors, and more. Whatever your hobbies are, we have something for you and your family.
What has been your favorite part about working in Downtown Bellevue since you opened?
For me, it’s the vibrancy and diversity of businesses. I love that you can walk to 20 different restaurants and on the way, you can visit the library or children’s museum. The area is growing and thriving so quickly, we’re excited to be a part of it.
Where do you see Downtown Bellevue in 3-5 years?
I think the city can only go up from here. We’ll see more apartments and condos to accommodate the population growth. I also predict an influx of ground floor retail being built too. I hope that the city will continue making Downtown Bellevue a livable and viable place for all.
Where are your favorite places to dine in Downtown?
Dough Zone in Old Bellevue is a family favorite because their soup dumplings are the best around.
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Person Behind The Place is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
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Snapdoodle Toys & Games 1100 Bellevue Way NE Bellevue, WA 98004