After nearly 40 years, Glenda’s Party Cove, a community fixture and many-time Indy Best Of winner, will close its doors. “It’s been fun,” owner Steve Thomson said of running the quirky party emporium, but “I’m ready to retire.”

Thomson and his wife, Paula, took over the store from her father and stepmother in 1988, and moved it from La Cumbre to Loreto Plaza. Paula died of cancer in 2001, and Thomson has run the store by himself since then. “I enjoy having the customer be happy, having found something that they couldn’t find anywhere else,” he said. But he won’t miss dealing with some of the merchandise. “Balloons always scared me,” he said, laughing. Twenty-nine years in business is “an awful long time to be blowing up balloons.”

Thomson will spend his free time visiting grandchildren and maybe taking a trip to Hawaii. After helping Santa Barbara residents with their celebrations for so long, he deserves some fun of his own.


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