Our Story

The story of Piccola begins all the way back in the Spring of 1966, when two young twentysomething mothers found that buying great children’s’ toys and clothes really wasn’t that easy.

Continually frustrated by the lack of imagination, originality and quality among other children’s’ retailers, they decided the only answer was to create the business in which they wanted to do their shopping for themselves. So armed with advice from friends and their very best 60s beehives, they set about establishing a shop that would allow other young mums to buy the special things they wanted for their children.

Because they had both recently married Italian men, they decided to call their new shop ‘Piccola’, which is an Italian term of endearment often spoken by parents to their children that translates as ‘sweetheart’, ‘darling’ or ‘little one’.

Piccola, Epping, Brentwood, 1966, Toy Shop, Steiff teddy, ladybird books, vintage toys

Now, as Piccola nears its 50th year of trading, and with a second successful branch open in Brentwood, Essex, the standards of service, originality, quality and excellence that have seen us stand tall through ever changing times, still run through everything we do.

We hope you enjoy our new website. We think it’s something really special that a shop that opened in black and white to serve the people of a quiet town in Essex can now connect in an instant with the whole world.

vintage toys, wooden toys, ladybird books, children's books

Brio, Octons, Piccola 1966, wooden trains, boys toys

The doors to Piccola first opened on July 30th 1966, the morning of England’s famous victory in the World Cup Final. As the match was played in the afternoon, and every last person in the country was at home glued to the television set, it didn’t turn out to be Piccola’s busiest day of trading. But lessons in timing were soon learned, and over the next four decades Piccola soon became an iconic landmark in the Essex town of Epping, trusted by generations of customers to provide unique products of the highest quality at prices within every family’s reach.

The two original founders still own and work in the business to this day, both close to clocking up half a century behind the counter, and, much to their joy (and horror!), they’ve recently started serving new grandparents who they first knew when they came in to our shop as children.

Paddington Bear, soft toys, galt, finger puppets

But whether you are an old friend or a brand new customer, the one thing we can promise you is that the standards of service and quality that have always been our trademark will be at the heart of everything we do for you.

As always, it’s our pleasure to serve...