"The child's illusion face before a toy is unpayable" point and apart

  • By:karen-millen



*This article was published in the printed edition of Diario de Burgos on October 19.

Chapero celebrated 120 years of history last October, exactly the same as the popular gigantillos.José Ruiz, who headed the third family generation at the head of this long business, is very clear: we are facing the oldest toy store in Spain and, however much they have sought it, they have not found another that exceeds it in age.And this 80 -year -old veteran fell is short, Chapero is part of the childhood of several generations of Burgos children and, despite the laps and more turns that trade has given in the last two centuries, his is stillshowcase of the illusion of the city and the warehouse par excellence of the Magi every Christmas."Children learn in Burgos to say papero [sic] before‘ dad ’and‘ mom ’," he jokes.

To clear doubts, you have to start saying that the commercial name does not come from the tin toys or any other type of business, Chapero is the first last name of Doña Cipriana, wife of Don Andrés Pablo, a marriage originally from Remumiel de la SierraAnd from which this whole story starts.They had seven children and the second, Julian, the Sierra was small and one day he decided to leave the oxen and the hauling of the wood to go to Burgos Capital to prosper.

He was 19 years old when he went to work at the Moliner stores, where he started as a waiter and gradually gained the appreciation of the owners of the trade for his good eye for the sale.Ascended and exercised as a representative of the house, traveling through towns and cities to sell and buy the genre."Between trip and trip, he learned how it was manufactured, how it was stored and how it was sold...".

One day he called his brothers Mariano and Hipólito to talk about business.With them he founded a society and opened a small store very close to the Plaza Mayor.The original trade was also housing, it was very small and had no showcase.From the beginning it was known for the surname of the mother of the founders and also since 1900, Pepe Ruiz underlines, the company had salaried people."We have always given work," he says proud.

The three brothers started as toys, although they were also merchants, they even sold the Servus, the famous bitumen to clean the shoes.This was trade then, everything and for everyone."They were very nice and joking tenders, they knew their customers for their nickname and the children always gave them a candy so that they took a good memory," recalls their niece grandson.

Without showcase to the street, the rag dolls and cardboard horse hung from the walls and ceilings of that first place that would soon stay small.Over the years and income, the brothers bought the surrounding house, which looked at the Plaza Mayor and on the corner of Carnicerías Street, the same one that today looks like the Ciprian Grandma's last name.

Single the founders, the second generation was in the hands of the nephews Javier, Julián and Miguel.They joined the protagonist of this story years, son of Lucia and Vicente (Julián's nephew), who also came from Reummiel de la Sierra, but to the internship of the Marists.There all the companions knew him for ‘Chapero’, which proves that the toy store where he began to make his first steps as a boy was already part of the city and the life of its inhabitants.

Overcome basic studies, Pepe Ruiz did what many other illustrious bourgeois."In the morning I went to school and in the afternoon I worked at the store by placing toys and learning to deal with customers.They always told me that the first and most important thing was to be a good person ".

His tutor was Mariano, the youngest of the first generation."I was always behind me to do things well and we had a great friendship.On my birthday I asked for a footballer boots and instead gave me a guitar.Before my complaint he told me: ‘We do not want any lame dependent’, "laughs out loud.

At that time, the Plaza Mayor was landscaped and the children played on the earth to the mud marbles, the peonzas and threw the firecrackers bought in chapero.

"I've never had schedules.Before opening to the public there were always many things to do.The shelves always had to be very well ordered because, to sell it, the toy has to do.In my early years in commerce, here came people of all kinds looking for toys, needles to fix mattresses or beads and ribbons for regional costumes...".

Wise men.Since the beginning of chapero, Christmas and the Magi have always been the great moment of the year, that of the greatest sales and trajines."There were times when we didn't eat and closed beyond 9 p.m.".

The arrival of Christmas was the launch of new toys.Pepe Ruiz has known cardboard, rag, tin and rope toys.He also lived the revolution that supposed the plastic and the exit to the market of the mythical toys such as the Scalextric, the Cinexin, the Barbie doll, the Nancy or the Ibertren, among many others."We have sold many trains...We had to be up to date to meet our motto of ‘If Chapero does not have it, no one has it’ ".

The stage of the development pole, the 70s and 80s, was especially good for toy store and for the city in general."We sell double because many people came to work in the city and that was noticed in the number of children and families.People even charged a week and bought shirts, shoes and also toys ".

As is to suppose, Pepe Ruiz has many endearing memories and is aware that being a toy is something very special because it inevitably unites the childhood of many Burgos."You don't know what it is to see the faces of the kids, that is not paid with anything.I've been retired for eight years and people keep stopping me on the street to greet me and tell me that toy that one day they gave him.There is always someone who reminds me and I like that a lot.I have to thank the Burgos, which have helped me to be a good person.I have tried by all means to have gender for people to buy at ease, never deceive anyone and always tell the truth.This was the basis of commerce at the beginning of the last century and it is the same today ".

Remember with special affection and emotion how one day a letter sent from Germany without name and without direction came to the store of the store: "Just put Chapero, with that it was enough to arrive".

Showcase.Pepe Ruiz married María Asunción in 65 and went on a boyfriend's trip with the doubt of whether or not the extension of the business of the Plaza Mayor was closed, which had been small.A telegram received in the honeymoon confirmed the good news: ‘Pepe, we have signed’.The works began two days after the kings of 66 and ended shortly before the sampedros."We opened the store with the carpenters inside and it was a success".

Thus his dream of a new trade was fulfilled with large glass windows that had a secret: they reached almost to the ground, so that the boys and girls of all ages - and heights - could see without difficulty the entire universe of toys ofThe store, from the carnicer shop to the Plaza Mayor.Such glass deployment had its inconveniences: "It is that we have not spent time cleaning the showcase of the brands of the morros of our small clients, of caramel remains, of footprints of chocolate hands, ice cream...".

Pepe and María Asunción have three children (María José, Carlos and Raquel) and five grandchildren.Carlos, "who has suckled the world of toy store with me," heads the fourth generation before the historic counter, who has managed to overcome trade changes and today attends a good part of his clientele through the Internet.

"I knew the arrival at the same time from the great hypermarkets and toys R US, which implanted a large ship full of toy towers.In the end, he ended up leaving Burgos.We learned many things, we saw that these large companies came to keep the toys business and had to espabilar ".

The situation was the same in many other Spanish cities and for many other traditional toys."We create a cooperative -Toy Planet- to buy toys nationwide, achieve better prices and compete with the big ones.In his day we earned a little more money, today we are more with the right thing, but we continue to offer the most important and the newest.Selling now is very difficult, you have to behave very well, be kind and always offer quality, "he explains.

Main Square.In his almost 60 years of work in the main city square, Pepe Ruiz has known up to six remodeling works, one correcting the previous one and giving way to another new one that was not going to contribute the final solution.The most criticized was the construction of the underground parking that ended with indiscriminate parking on surface, in the time of Peña San Martín.

When he now walks through the arcades he laments all the commerce he has known and has already disappeared, that full place of mercantile life, full of illustrious shopkeepers and rich showcases."Among the centenarians there were Santiago Rodríguez - although no longer in the square - and we, the rest is no longer.I see a less buoyant and more sad burgos, it may be that the coronavirus has something to do.Missing atmosphere and it is seen that this trade does not come for everyone ".

"The child's illusion face before a toy is unpayable" point and apart
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