The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

Local store brings candy, books and charm to Ave

Store+owner+Katherin+Baban+sorts+through+books+in+her+new+store+Gigglemugs+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+23.
Audrey Wei
Store owner Katherin Baban sorts through books in her new store Gigglemugs on Friday, Feb. 23.

When Katherin Baban dreamed up her business idea — a store on Burlingame Avenue that offers a wide range of books for all ages and quality candy — her first, and most important, customer was her daughter. But thankfully, daughter Annabelle wasn’t hard to win over.

“When my mom first brought up the idea of a store, I thought it was a great idea because I knew when I wanted to buy some candy but I didn’t want to go to Walgreens,” Annabelle Baban said. “I think that the kind of candy here is great. It’s different. Like [the candy] you see trending on TikTok.” 

Katherine Baban was less focused on candy and more focused on the lack of bookstores on Burlingame Ave during the pandemic. She decided to take matters into her own hands, with her love for books inspiring her to provide young kids and teens with access to a variety of novels.

“After COVID hit, I noticed that Books Inc. and Pals Candy Store closed, and I felt like there weren’t a lot of places for [kids to go] when they’re on the Avenue,” Katherin Baban said. “The Avenue is filled with kids and families and I thought that this would be a really good idea.”Because this is her first venture in the retail business, Katharin Baban is taking it one step at a time.  

“We’ve only been open for three months now, so we’re still learning how to do things and people are still discovering us,” Katherin Baban said. “We’re getting a slow start, but it’s been very good, [and we’re getting] good feedback from our customers.”

The name “Gigglemugs” suggests a child’s smiling face, which aligns with Baban’s objective of ensuring every child experiences happiness when entering the store — happiness that will hopefully extend to their reading journey.

Baban believes that reading for pleasure is critical for learning as a whole. 

“I think the more you read, the better it will be for everyone in the long run, especially in your teenage years. It helps with your critical thinking, your comprehension, with your vocabulary, will help with your writing. It will help you get into college, it will help you become a lifelong learner. And I think that that’s important in today’s society. So that’s my ultimate goal is for a child to discover books that they enjoy reading,” Baban said.

More generally, Baban wants to give back to the community she lives in by providing a welcoming and joyful environment.

“I care a lot about Burlingame Avenue — it’s a vital part of the downtown and I think it’s important that there’s a destination for kids to go to,” Baban said.

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About the Contributor
Audrey Wei, Staff Reporter
Audrey Wei is a freshmen at BHS and is a first year journalism student. She enjoys reading and writing stories, which introduced her to journalism. She is a huge fan of k-pop and enjoys getting boba with her friends. Outside of school, you can find her out on the soccer field or binging a new k-drama.
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