A new business in Boise is selling, buying and trading in imagination.
Boise Bricks and Minifigs opened March 19 on Fairvew Avenue near Hampton Road, offering a place for children to build and play with Legos and miniature figures. The business is owned by franchisees Brook and Reed Brimhall, but it is operated by their entire family.
The store has been “slammed” in its first few weeks, Brimhall said. People drove around for 15 minutes to find parking and lined up outside the door for the grand opening, she said.
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The store buys and sells new and used Lego products.
It also offers an activity room that customers can rent or reserve for birthday parties, special-needs groups, home-school groups and day care classes. The room is open 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays for free play. But Brimhall recommends calling ahead to see if it has been reserved.
The store would not exist without the Brimhalls’ son, Devin.
The 25-year-old has Asperger syndrome and has struggled to find employment. As the Brimhalls got closer to retirement, they looked for ways to help their son find work, both to earn income and to become more independent, Brook Brimhall said.
“No one wants to take a chance for someone who’s really smart but a little bit different,” she said.
But last year, Brook and Reed Brimhall were vacationing in western Oregon and stopped into a Bricks and Minifigs store in Canby, Ore.
It seemed like the perfect opportunity for their son, Brimhall said. They contacted the company about opening a store in Boise, paid the $20,000 franchise fee, invested in new inventory and brought the entire family into the store as employees.
The store’s employees include the Brimhalls’ children and children in-law. Son Adam Brimhall runs birthday parties at the store when he’s not studying at Boise State University, and his girlfriend, Nicole Caffrey, works full time at the store. Daughter Beki Brimhall, also a Boise State student, is one of the store’s managers. Daughter Erika Bates is a store manager, and her husband, Joe Bates, is the “minifigure expert.” Daughter Kendra Johnson is a store manager, and her husband, Dan Johnson, helps with customer service.
And Devin Brimhall has come into his own as the “Lego guru” at Boise Brick and Minifigs, Brook Brimhall said.
“He is now greeting customers at the door, he is doing customer service, he is being more social, more communicative,” she said. “It’s just fun to be a whole-family business, all dedicated to helping our son, and their brother.”
If you go
Address: 10150 W. Fairview Ave., Boise
Phone: (208) 377-4386
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; closed Sunday