Hobby Lobby grand opening attracts crowd in Dover

Customers wait for the grand opening of the new Hobby Lobby store in Dover this morning. (Special to the Delaware State News/Ariane Mueller)

DOVER — Shoppers and curiosity seekers alike were lined up and wrapped around the corner of the Hobby Lobby store more than a half-hour before its official grand opening this morning.

Troy Moore, district manager for Hobby Lobby, said the North Dover Center store did not schedule a huge event for the occasion due to COVID-19 regulations, but he and all store employees were excited after having soft openings Friday and Saturday.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to get into Delaware, and we’re excited we finally have the opportunity to be here today,” Mr. Moore said. “We bring a great selection, great price, and we also bring a Christian environment where everyone can feel safe and shop and enjoy their family time.”

One thing is for certain, the 58,000-square-foot retail facility — at the former site of an Acme grocery store — offers something for everyone.

Each Hobby Lobby store offers more than 70,000 crafting and home decor products, including floral, fabric, needle art, custom framing, baskets, home accents, wearable art, arts and crafts, jewelry-making items, scrapbooking provisions, paper-crafting supplies and more. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is closed Sundays.

“We offer a wide and ever-changing variety of craft and home decor products, including many exclusive Hobby Lobby brands,” said Kelly Black, director of advertising for Hobby Lobby. “First-time shoppers in Dover will be pleasantly surprised at the store size and the exceptional service provided by our trained associates.”

Lauren Toscano looks over the selection of Thanksgiving decorations at the Hobby Lobby store opening day. (Special to the Delaware State News/Ariane Mueller)

The Dover location, which is the first in Delaware, joins more than 900 Hobby Lobby stores across the nation.

Monica Cohen is the store manager, and she said the past couple of weeks have been a blur as she and her employees worked to get the store ready to open.

“It was actually pretty quick,” she said. “It took us a couple of weeks to kind of get ready, but we’re excited to get open and be here for the customers. It is absolutely beautiful. The displays are really nice, and the store is gorgeous. I’m so glad we were able to set up a really nice store for the shoppers.”

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., an Oklahoma City-based private corporation, began as Greco, a miniature-picture frame company, in 1970. When David Green moved his business from the family home to a 300-square-foot retail space in 1972, Hobby Lobby was born. It is the nation’s largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer.

Deb Souder of Smyrna was one of the first people to enter the store and get a chance to shop today. She browsed through some wall art before taking in the rest of the expansive space.

“We just love Hobby Lobby, and we couldn’t wait for it to come to Delaware,” Ms. Souder said. “The No. 1 (difference from other stores) is that it is run by a Christian organization, and when you come in, it’s peaceful because of the Christian music playing. The things are quality and beautiful, and there’s lots of it.

“It’s just a whole different atmosphere to shop in. I just love Hobby Lobby.”