Ducky Waddle's Emporium, the Encinitas storefront that specializes in limited edition books, art prints and kitschy gifts, will permanently close according to the store's Facebook page and an email newsletter sent to subscribers last week. In the post, Ducky Waddle's owner Jerry Waddle cited the "economics of running a small, independent business" as the reason for his decision to close up the large space off Pacific Coast Highway. Waddle couldn't be reached personally as of press time, but it's clear from the email statement that the decision didn't come easy for him.
"My dream was to provide a well-curated selection of books, an interesting and fun selection of gift items and an art gallery to showcase local artists," the statement reads. "We also provided a space for book signing events for local writers and a performance salon for local poets, local musicians and bands. I feel as though I succeeded to some extent but in the long run, the economics of running a small independent business have proved to be insufficient for a foreseeable future success."
The statement goes on to thank the store's loyal customers and friends, as well as to promote a liquidation sale where everything, from the store's stock to its fixtures, will be up for sale. There will also be some new stock coming in and items that Waddle previously had in storage. The store will be open through August and, according to the statement, "well into September."
Ducky Waddle's first opened in 1996 and quickly became a cultural staple in an otherwise sleepy Encinitas scene. It counted Shepard Fairey as one of its early customers and hosted some of the artist's first shows. The store continued to sell his work, as well as limited edition art prints by locals like Scrojo and a varied assortment of prints from national and international artists. The store's long-running "Poetry Ruckus" event would often attract up-and-coming names in the national poetry scene and included an open-mic portion where locals could showcase new works. In May of 2015, Waddle launched an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign in order to save the store, raising nearly $8,000 of a $20,000 goal. The store will be open for the annual LeucadiART Walk on Sunday, Aug 28, from 10 to 5 p.m.