A family-owned hobby store in Wausau is closing its doors after 50 years in business.
Pope's Hobbyland made the announcement Friday. Longtime customers say it's the end of an era.
Owners Audrey and Warren Pope opened the store in 1963, one year after they got married.
The store features everything from remote control airplanes to kits for making beer.
Audrey Pope says she knows what she's going to miss the most.
"The most rewarding part is when the door swings open and you see a family come in," she said. "You'll have the man put the little toddler on his shoulder and they'll spin a prop on an airplane, or show off the train going around, and those kids with their wide eyes looking at it, it's just heartwarming."
Customers of all ages on Friday flooded the store that's catered to Wausau area hobbyists for decades.
"Most hobby stores are a two- to seven-year business," said Dave Conrad, store manager.
Conrad says he 's been working for Pope's Hobbyland since 1971.
He tells Newsline 9 that it's hard to think it's all coming to an end.
"For all of us who have had so many close ties with the community, the customers, and the people we've come to be friends with, it is a little hard," Conrad said.
Warren Pope, 76, says his love for model airplanes motivated him to open the store all those years ago. He is happy he has been able to share that love for the hobby industry with generations of families who have come through his doors.
"We've had a good time and a long run at it, we've made wonderful friends over the years, but it's just time to make it close," Pope said.
According to Pope, the store will be closed Monday and Tuesday to prepare for a "going out of business" sale that starts Wednesday.
The owners say they expect Pope's Hobbyland to officially close by late November.