I Love Dayton: Foy’s bringing customers to Fairborn for 90 years

I Love Dayton

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) — For 90 years, family-owned Foy’s has kept people coming back to downtown Fairborn.

“They got so many nice things over there. Little kids, big kids, everybody likes it, you know. Everybody leaves with a smile,” says Fairborn resident Nila Kaempf.

“Foy’s is a hit,” exclaims Paula Drake, who visits her daughter in Fairborn. “It’s adult Halloween-town. It’s kiddie Halloween-town. It’s everybody Halloween-town all year.”

Mike Foy is third generation owner. Mike’s grandfather opened the variety store on Main Street in 1929 after successfully opening and running the Sweet Shop in Versailles in 1912.

“Lot of history in this store,” reminisces Mike. “I go back to being five, going down the aisles. You know, everything’s — Under the counters is where I spent all my time, playing with the toys, putting things away, and cleaning. It’s part of my life here, this store.”

Starting as a traditional five and dime store, Foy’s dove into the Halloween business in 1972 upon a suggestion from Mike.

“My dad kept telling me, ‘Are you sure this is going to sell? Are you sure that we’re doing the right thing?’ And then he’d say ‘You were right. You were right’,” remembers Mike.

Since then, Foy’s has exploded, expanding to multiple stores on Main Street.

“If it wasn’t for Halloween, this store would be out of business probably 30 years ago. All the five and tens that I know except one is gone,” states Mike.

In addition to the variety store, there’s also a haunted house prop store, a haunted museum and glow shop, a haunted special effects store, an adult costume store, and a kids costume store.

Mike also owns several homes and properties around Main Street all decked out for Halloween.

“We decorate buildings. We decorate houses. My grandmother’s house that was built in ’29 is decorated. I only keep that house to decorate. Across the street is a pirate display. I bought that property just to put the pirates on,” describes Mike.

In the store, there are more than 800 masks on display.

“No one sells the amount of masks we sell,” admits Mike. “Michael Myers is the biggest selling mask last year, and it will be this year.”

In addition to costumes and masks, the store is well stocked with sweets.

“We sell a lot of candy. We have three candy orders come in a week,” says Mike.

The store is just as much into the Halloween tricks as the treats.

“I love gags — things to fool people with,” laughs Mike. “We have racks, racks of hand buzzers and exploding pens, and you know, just anything you want to fool somebody.”

While the business is primarily recognized for specializing in Halloween, its novelty roots keep customers coming in year-round.

“Everything is really original in here. Try not to change much,” says Mike.

Foy’s annual Halloween festival will take place in downtown Fairborn on Main Street October 18, 19, and 20.

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