Kerry Hoctor, the Village Stationers’ owner, describes a true stationary store as a business that offers cards, gifts, and office supplies. Village Stationers was established by Kerry’s parents in 1966 and later managed by Kerry himself in 1981, after his parents retired.

Beginning his career at the age of 12 as a sales clerk at Village Stationers with his parents, Kerry found that, not only did he enjoy retail, but was also good at it as a kid. He later recognized he could run the business and bought the store at the age of 26, “never having second thoughts,” Hoctor said.

When he first began, Hoctor remembers working 14-15 hours a day, seven days a week but has felt “blessed” for having committed employees who have devoted 10-15 years of their lives to the store.

Throughout the years Village Stationers has had its challenges. Not only did it have physical competitors near by, but online shopping also became a major problem. However, due to their committed clientele and expansion on invitation and printing services, Village Stationers prevailed.

“Our direction has always been customer service and it has kept us going through thick and thin,” said Hoctor.

Hoctor highlights his favorite part of owning Village Stationers to be the endless interactions he had with new and long time customers but has become unable to attend the social aspect of the business due to his hearing loss.

“Everyday is different!” he expressed.

Nevertheless, Kerry Hoctor does not spend all day in his store. On his free time, Hoctor has loved to collect racecars over the years, as well as golfing, gold mining, and most of all spending time with his family, including his wife, 2 kids, and grandchildren. Find Kerry at the Menlo Park Village Stationers or visit his daughter who manages his second store in Los Altos.

 

About the photo-journalist: Jose Sainz-Medina

This collection of photographs and articles serves as a form of storytelling; it highlights business owners who have established their roots in Menlo Park and have faced challenges, as well as notable achievements throughout their lives. Jose Sainz-Medina hopes to serve as a visual storyteller. A storyteller who can interpret the stories that people, like business owners, want to tell about themselves and their business, explaining who they are and what their business provides to the community. After four years of studying photography and two years of journalism at Eastside College Prep high school, Jose developed a love for both visually and verbally communicating to those who are willing to listen.  In his spare time, Jose spends hours at his local Starbucks making coffee, as well as focusing his photography towards architecture and natural landscapes. In the fall, Jose will face his own challenges as he begins his college career at the University of California, Riverside.