It’s all fun and games and community recognition for one Olde Towne Okotoks business.
Monkey Mountain Toys and Games took home gold in the 2019 Best of the Foothills Western Wheel Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Toy Shop, securing its reputation as the go-to spot for kids.
Approaching its 10-year anniversary this fall, the downtown shop is hard to miss, and even harder to pass by if you have children in your life.
“It’s such a huge honour to know that the community does still think of us as that important to the community, that we’re not just being forgotten,” said Krista Hunt, store manager. “It is really, I can’t even honestly say how amazing it feels to know that they do appreciate us and like having us here that much.”
Monkey Mountain aims to carry a wide variety, with a focus on kid-powered play and educational play.
“We do have a few things that are electronic and such, like baby toys, but for the most part we try to avoid electronic toys,” said Hunt. “So we have a lot of board games and puzzles and building toys like Lego, imaginative toys like Playmobil and Calico Critters, and then crafts and science kits, stuff like that.”
Monkey Mountain doesn’t stop at supplying gifts for children. It plays a significant role in the community, too.
“Personally I hope that the community will continue to support us, and then as we grow here we can then support them more as well,” said Hunt.
Regularly participating in community events and fundraisers—such as silent auctions, Teddy Bear Picnic and Box Car Derby—supporting where possible is important.
“We try to support where we can,” she said. “If somebody from the community comes in and says ‘hey, we’ve got this fundraiser going,’ we do our best to support them. We work with the Magic of Christmas every year. We’re actually pretty active with them.
“You know, I just hope we can continue to do so and continue to support other fundraisers and events and such.”
Located in Olde Towne Okotoks in the downtown core, the shop has an enviable position at the corner of McRae Street and Clark Ave, just outside the Olde Towne square—and they aren’t taking that location for granted.
“Honestly, I can’t imagine us being anywhere else,” said Hunt. “We used to be down the street from here, we were kind of on the outskirts of the community.
“But now being right in the middle of it—we’re right in the middle of all of the major events, we get to see everything that’s going on and everyone pulling together and just making Okotoks and amazing place.
“It’s just really… I can’t imagine being anywhere else, it’s just phenomenal being right here.”