Welcome back to Down the Boulevard, a new weekly feature on Hasbrouck Heights Patch where we ask the business owners in our town a few questions about their business and themselves. Get to know your business owners.
Gary Doran recalled the days of being a customer at . From time to time over the years he’d tell his wife Barbara he’d like to own the place some day.
That dream came true for the Dorans. This October they will celebrate their fifth anniversary at the shop which offers a wide selection of religious merchandise and gift items predominantly serving the Catholic faith, and Christian as well.
The shop first originated in Hasbrouck Heights in the 1960s on Kipp Avenue, Gary Doran explained. After a fire forced the close of the Kipp Avenue location, it was reopened at 194 Boulevard. The shop is now housed at 220 Boulevard. Before the Dorans ,the shop was owned by two other families.
The Dorans have been residents of Hasbrouck Heights for more than 30 years and raised their children Allison and Gary in the borough. Gary has been very active with Corpus Christi CYO basketball program. He coached for years and now he is the administrator of the program. He has also been very active with the Hasbrouck Heights Little League program.
Gary said he always hoped that if he bought the shop one day it would be his retirement gig. Soon he hopes to retire fully and devote every day to The Religious Shoppe. Currently he still works with United Way, one of the largest charities in the world, and his wife is a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital in Hoboken. He spent most of his career working for AT&T.
The store has a strong Hasbrouck Heights customer base Gary said as well as from the surrounding area. They are just coming off one of the busiest times of the year as the spring and early summer bring communions, confirmations, as well as weddings and baptisms.
Gary said he has always been comfortable around religious items as his brother is a monsignor and vicar with the Archdiocese of Newark. He absolutely loves interacting with his customers and has found them to always be so nice and helpful. He finds that there is a serene calmness to the atmosphere of the store which many of his customers appreciate. About 80 percent of the merchandise caters to the Catholic religion but Gary said they also work with many of the ministers of other houses of worship in town to bring in items catering to their clientele as well.
This October in honor of their five year anniversary, the shop will host a sale which will also kick off their Christmas season. Gary said what he loves about Christmas is being able to sell items that represent the true meaning of Christmas.
The shop is open five days a week from Tuesday to Saturday.