ALAMEDA -- The Silver Tree gift shop has been in business for 33 years at the busy corner of Park Street and Santa Clara Avenue.

Its current owner, who's run the store for the past 10 years, said that it's time to move on and will close the store July 14.

"There aren't many gift shops here like ours, and I wish I could keep it open," said Kay Park. "But it's really hard."

She and her family members have decided that even though they're working 40-plus hours a week, it makes more sense to close the store.

"I want to retire now. It's a tough situation," Park explained.

Park has run the store with her sister Michelle Na for the past decade. Her son Josh also has worked at the Silver Tree.

"He's a college graduate and has his own future ahead of him," Park explained. "Before us, a husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Chun, owned the store for 23 years."

To stock the store shelves, Park ordered some merchandise at gift shows and also imported certain items from South Korea. In addition to jewelry, hats, purses and the like, the shop has Bay Area-themed items for sale.

"People traveling to Alameda to see family come into the store for souvenirs. I feel sorry for the regular visitors who'll come in August and see that I'm gone," Park said. "I'm so happy that my regular customers have been coming here for so long."


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She said that Alameda's "hometown feel" makes running a business in town very enjoyable. Still, the rental rates on Park Street can be difficult for some retailers to bear, and that situation has an impact on the mix of shops available for the community on the busy street, according to the store owner.

Nearby, at Poppy Red Flowers & Gifts on Park Street, "Business is good. Thank goodness," said owner Karim Preuss. "Alamedans are wonderful to us."

The store, which opened in November 2011, sells U.S.-made and imported candles, soap, jewelry and other items, as well as fresh bouquets.

"We're pleased with our regular customers and our business," Preuss explained.

Around the corner on Santa Clara near Broadway, where rents are lower, Toni Hudson opened up Goods on June 1.

"I like Alameda and wanted to open a store with a rustic design," she said.

Goods stocks "high-quality items that are interesting and different," Hudson explained. There are some antiques, spices from Port Townsend, Wash., Berkeley-made soaps, as well as items such as soy candles, housewares, jars of jam and other gifts.

At Santa Clara and Oak Street, Pixies & Peony is getting ready to celebrate its one-year anniversary, said shop owners Renee and Minda Vermazen, mother and daughter. Minda works on furniture to give it a vintage look, while Renee picks out unusual plants to offer patrons and knits items for the store.

Pixies & Peony also sells colorful lamp shades, decorative items, jewelry, imported clothes and textiles, fair-trade gift cards and the like.