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Decades-Old Stationery Store Helps Students Stock Up for the School Year

By Katie Honan | September 6, 2013 9:59am
 Local stores in Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurst are stocked with necessities to get the new year off to a great start.
Neighborhood Stores Help Last-Minute Shoppers Get Supplies
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JACKSON HEIGHTS — G.C. Stationery has been selling school and art supplies in Jackson Heights since the 1930s.

With the the school year about to start, the neighborhood fixture is one of several stores in the area where students can stock up on everything they need.

Greg Patel, 61, has owned G.C. Stationery, at 81-10 37th Ave., for 25 years and says he’s the last remaining store of its kind in the neighborhood.

The shop is stocked with all the necessities for a student, from notebooks and pencils to test-prep books and study sheets. Teachers can also purchase supplies like bulletin boards, which start at around $9.

There are also plenty of high-quality art supplies like oil paints, pastels, brushes and sketch pads.

Crafty types can pick up scrapbook sheets starting at $.89 each, or markers starting at $3.69 each. For the Beliebers, notebooks featuring the Canadian pop star cost $3.69.

“Business picks up the week after Labor Day,” Patel said. “It gets really busy during the first two weeks of school.”

Luis Vasquez, 50, came into the store Thursday with his 10-year-old son, Andrew, who attends the nearby St. Joan of Arc School.

They arrived with a long list of supplies and picked up folders — which were on sale, two for $1 — and notebooks, which started at $1.69.

“They have everything I need here,” he said.

Lyzbeth Paredes, 18, was looking for folders, pens and notebooks for her classes at Hostos Community College.

She visits the store a few times a year, traveling from Flushing to check the well-stocked shelves.

“It has everything,” she said. “And it’s organized really well."

For cute backpacks and other supplies, Mundo Bebe, at 94-03 Roosevelt Ave., in Corona stocks the front of its store with Sanrio items, learning tools and more.

Placemats for kids to learn while they eat start at $3.99 each, a 24 pack of Crayola crayons sell for $1.99 and backpacks, from Hello Kitty to Dora the Explorer, start at $11.99.

Owner Joyce Liu, 33, who’s had the shop for three years, said she often gets requests for more unusual items.

“Pencils, pens and the like are equal or even second to health items,” said Rob Roszkowski, a teacher and parent who lives in Jackson Heights.

“Boxes of tissues, paper towels and hand sanitizer are appreciated and in some cases, outright requested.”

Mundo Bebe has paper towels, napkins, tissues and more in the back of the store. The paper towels cost less than $1 a roll and hand santizer could be picked up for around $2.

Some of the more expensive items for older students include a flash drive, which Roszkowski said is a “necessity” as students bring work from their home computers into school.

Staples, which has a store in Corona and one in Elmhurst, sells store-brand thumb flash drives with 16MB of space for less than $20.