Poppyshop: Childhood memories across generations in Carlton

Poppyshop Carlton

Poppyshop, a toy store on Lygon St, will celebrate its 60th birthday next year.

Opened in 1965, Poppyshop stocks interesting toys from around the world and is a community icon that has stood the test of time.

Poppyshop is currently owned by Lisa Kelly, who bought the store from previous owner Pat Knox 10 years ago.

“I was a new mum and I had not been working for my old career. One day I walked into the store and heard it was for sale. I thought I can do this, so here I am 10 years later,” Lisa said.

“Actually, I had never stepped foot in the store until that day. My friend had asked me to come down here to look for something as a gift and I saw the sign that it was closing if it wasn’t sold.”

Fate led Lisa into this store, and perhaps it’s the best gift Lisa has found for herself.

“The previous owner Pat, she made the shop what it is today,” Lisa said.

“For me it was about taking it over and making some different decisions. A lot of people always say, ‘The shop hasn’t changed.’ But if you look at old photos that we have it has changed a lot.”



When people walk into Poppyshop, the first thing they see is a variety of delicate and interesting toys; not only classic wooden toys, but also the latest and hottest toys.

Each toy is neatly placed, waiting for their owner’s arrival. According to Lisa, there are at least 10,000 items in the store.

“When people come into the store, they feel like a child again so that’s why they are drawn to lots of little things and fun things,” Lisa said.  “Our toys are mainly from Europe; they’re very play-based learning toys for development and education. We also have the classic tin toys and old-fashioned toys. The best-selling toys would be Teddy Bear and Jack in the Box.”

The store also offers games and puzzles, board games, puppets, rocking horses, dolls, arts and crafts and more.

When Inner City News visited Poppyshop last month, first-time customer Wanyuan said they were “attracted by the wide variety of toys in this store.”

“I like this kind of store, which has a bit of vintage style. Although I am not a child, I will still walk into this store,” Wanyuan said.

Lisa said the store brought generations of families together, creating special memories.

“The door to this treasure trove of amazing toys and gifts is always open. I feel we’ve continued the unique success of this amazing store that for many years to come will remain the favourite or go-to shop for many.” •

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