Frank & Son co-owner shares how fans helped reopen doors – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

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Janet Kapusta (courtesy photo)

Janet Kapusta knows why they come.

She remembers how much she loved her collection of Charlie Brown and Snoopy items. In seventh grade, her expertise and passion for peanuts earned her election as president of Charlie Brown’s fan club.

It’s nostalgia and joy in a toy, comic or card.

“When I’m in the store, I hear people getting excited about a collectible from their childhood, rekindling memories they thought were gone forever,” said Kapusta, co-owner of Frank & Son Collectible Show in City. of Industry.

Kapusta said her husband, Frank Zamarripa, also collected all his life. Frank and his father collected and built sets of baseball cards which he still has.

“Then the 1984 Olympics hit and he and his best friend started collecting and trading Olympic pins,” Kapusta said. “Trading Olympic pins led to going store to store at McDonald’s. Each store offered different pins, so the hunt was on, driving store to store and acquiring pins to keep and trade. It also led to collecting McDonald’s memorabilia.

At the time the couple ran their trucking business at City of Industry, her husband owned the largest collection of McDonald’s memorabilia on the West Coast, Kapusta said. Looking for ideas to raise money for Ronald McDonald House, Janet and Frank decided to put on a collector’s show. The success of this first show led to the creation of a new company, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary after more than two years of fighting the pandemic.

Frank & Son Collectible Show in the City of Industry. (Courtesy picture)

Janet knew she could turn to this online follow-up to help her real-world community during difficult times.

In October 2021, she partnered with the American Red Cross to host blood donation events on the show and later hosted walk-in vaccination clinics with Hacienda Heights Pharmacy. Even closed, the show still supported the industry sheriff’s Youth Athletic League and other local groups.

“The influence we gained across the country and around the world was through our Facebook page, and we’re leveraging that by creating initiatives that allow us to be a resource for good here in the San Gabriel Valley” , said Kapusta. “I am grateful to our community of collectors for their support, not only for our business, but for their willingness to support our charity events.”

Frank & Son is holding a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 26, at the show’s exhibit center, 17835 Gale Ave., City of Industry. Everyone is welcome. Make an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org and enter the sponsor code FSCS.

Kapusta said she remains driven by her love for nostalgia and community service, as well as her gratitude for the community she has online and in person.

Frank & Son now hosts Facebook Live events and offers previews of new items on Instagram, from books to posters, anime, games and collectible toys, and memorabilia of everything from sports to celebrities and movies.

Fans from England, France and Ireland meet on Frank & Son’s social media to talk and share photos of their collections: wrestling belts and Pokémon cards, comic book walls and rows of Disney pins.

Kapusta said taking the time to enjoy the good times of childhood, even for a second, is what draws people around the world to Frank & Son’s business, but the affection and passion she and Frank have for their local community are reflected in how that community has pulled Frank & Son from the brink of closure.

A local artist has painted a cornfield mural inspired by the owners’ favorite movie, “Field of Dreams,” inside the Frank and Son Collectible Show at City of Industry. People take pictures in front of the mural, sit on the bleachers and people watch. (Photo courtesy of Frank and Son Collectible Show)

“What I love the most are the people,” she said. “If you stand at the front door when we open, everyone who comes in laughs, smiles, high fives, kids jump for joy and shout ‘Yeah! Then when you walk down the aisles and listen, just listen, to people reclaiming their childhood memories, it warms my heart. We’re not just a store full of physical items, we’re a room full of memories.

Shortly after the show moved to its new location on Gale Avenue, taking over a former Sam’s Club, Kapusta commissioned a local artist to paint the cornfield from his favorite movie, “Field of Dreams.” She set up bleachers in front, to encourage people to linger and remember.

“Many wonderful quotes that apply to us come from this movie,” she said. “My favorite is ‘The memories will be so thick they’ll have to wipe them from their faces. People will come, yes they will. All day people take pictures there like they’re stepping out of the field and then they sit and have a soda and people watch. Then on leaving, they leave as they arrived, smiling, laughing and sharing their memories. Can it get any better than that?

For more information, follow Frank & Son Collectible Show on Facebook (www.facebook.com/frankandsonshow), on Instagram @frankandsonshow. 909-444-7955.

Anissa V. Rivera, Columnist, “Mom’s the Word,” Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News, Azusa Herald, Glendora Press and West Covina Highlander, San Dimas/La Verne Highlander. Southern California News Group, 605 E. Huntington Drive, Suite 100, Monrovia, CA 91016. 626-497-4869.

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