After sitting empty for about two years, the former Mervyns building is now as colorful as can be with more than 60,000 products thanks to its new tenant
The Oklahoma-based company opened its first Orange County store at 27230 Alicia Pkwy., in Laguna Niguel on Monday with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting.
City officials as well as representatives from thewere on hand for the festivities.
In addition, customers showed up bright and early for the 9 a.m. opening, and were eager to shop.
According to one employee, she said the store had a "soft opening" over the weekend and "it has been busy ever since."
On Monday, aisles were filled with everything from stacks of colored papers and glass bottles to knick-knacks such as kitchen items and kit outdoor trinkets. Departments range from home décor to candles and hobbies.
Shopper Elizabeth Krembley had a basket filled with watercolor paints, brushes and sketch pads.
"What a great store, I am so happy that it has come to Laguna Niguel, I will be here a lot," she said.
Other aisles were lined with bales of artificial flowers, a menagerie of fabrics, furniture, artwork, needle art, yarns, and seasonal items including Fourth of July décor The former department store was two levels, but the new craft store is a single level.
was leased to the Hobby Lobby. The building is the second largest in Laguna Niguel after the vacant , which may be
Hobby Lobby officials said the company chose to open a store in Laguna Niguel after researching the demographics and deciding to "make a conscious effort to enter the California market in 2012."
Founded in 1972, the company's website states, that there are "over 60,000 products in 13 departments ... ranging from crafts, hobbies, picture framing, jewelry making, fashion fabrics, floral, cards and party, baskets, wearable art, home accents, and holiday supplies."