After 19 years in downtown Redmond, husband-and-wife owners Dave Schumacher and Paulette Evans are reluctantly closing their family business, The Soccer Shop.
The store’s last day will be Friday, May 28. Between now and then, they’re offering lots of discounts and hoping old friends will stop by to say hello — and goodbye — at 8092 160th Ave. NE.
The recession’s impact on small retailers was the main reason for the decision to close, Schumacher and Evans explained. The couple opened The Soccer Shop on their daughter Katy Drew’s fourth birthday, back in May 1991.
“We wanted to pick a date we’d be sure to remember,” said Evans.
Katy recently graduated from Washington State University and works at the YMCA in Newcastle, but still makes an occasional appearance to help out at The Soccer Shop.
Their sons Sean Schumacher, a junior at Eastlake High School and Christopher Schumacher, a sophomore at Redmond High School, work at the store, too.
“We wanted this to be a gathering place for people to come in, talk about soccer at the club level or a championship game,” said Schumacher, who has been active in the soccer community for the past 30 years.
His background includes time with the NASL Seattle Sounders as director of community relationships and camps. He also was director of coaching at Lake Washington Youth Soccer for six years and Washington Youth Soccer for 13 years. For many years, the shop was the designated dealer for the Crossfire Premier Soccer program, as well as Washington State Youth Soccer Association.
“The most enjoyable thing has been talking soccer and seeing generations that have worked here and are now coaches or directors. We’ve seen kids through high school, college,” Schumacher continued.
Even actor Grant Goodeve worked at The Soccer Shop, before he landed his gig hosting TV’s “Northwest Backroads.”
“We like to tease him that we launched his career,” Schumacher quipped.
Evans was a teacher in the Lake Washington School District for 23 years and now is the program director of “First Note” for the Children’s Music Foundation but said she has spent enough time in The Soccer Shop to “really see the value of service we’ve provided all these years. We’re quite sad that we can’t continue.”
For example, Evans mentioned that The Soccer Shop’s selections of gently used, secondhand soccer gear were very popular, especially since the economy has forced families to cut back on recreation.
“People have really liked that choice and the versatility — and people are on a budget,” she said.
Schumacher agreed, “People were cleaning out their garages and donating stuff. It’s green in nature, too.”
Schumacher is now director of player development for FC Alliance Premier Club in the Bothell/Woodinville area. He also was recently appointed technical director for Northshore Youth Soccer Association.
So the family might consider opening another small retail shop, a little to the north, when or if the time is right.
For now, Shumacher and Evans are assembling an e-mail list of loyal customers and supporters, in the hope that their paths will cross again.
For more information about The Soccer Shop, call (425) 881-1212.