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Central Plains Novelty in Delano to close

01/15/2014 11:00 AM

01/15/2014 11:29 AM

WICHITA — More than five decades after opening, Central Plains Novelty in Delano is closing.

The business opened in 1961 as R.E.'s Novelties.

"It was quite the place ... back in the day," co-owner Nancy Lawrence says of the business' popularity.

Her mother, Louella Stewart, worked there from 1962 until she died a decade ago.

Lawrence began working for the business four years before buying it. When the owners were going to retire in 1986, she and her sister, Zandra Troeger, decided to buy it.

"We always laughed, 'We'll just keep mom off the streets,'" Lawrence says.

They decided to change the store's name since it had been named after the previous owner.

The store, which is at 905 W. Douglas, sells novelties and gag gifts and does costume rentals. Now, those costumes and everything else are on sale for 50 percent off.

"After 27 years ... we're both at an age that we want to do something else while we can," Lawrence says.

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About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com

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