It’s no trick that a Port Jefferson Station store has
managed to stay in business for nearly forty years in a niche industry where
big box retailers are spooking mom and pops into early graves.
Chances are if you grew up in northern Brookhaven, you have visited Ronjo Magic and Costumes at least once in your lifetime. They’ve been around since 1974 so there’s even a chance that you not only got a costume there as a kid; you took your own kid back to get one.
The store isn’t just about Halloween though, what started the magic at Ronjo was, well magic.
“I am a magician,” said owner Ron Diamond. “This is all based on magic first. I started as a weekend magician,” he said, leaning on the original glass case that holds the display of magic tricks from his first store.
He was asked to take his magic over to the now defunct Mad Hatter nightclub in Stony Brook.
“I was going to send over a magician, but they wanted me and they wanted me dressed as the Mad Hatter and that’s how it started,” said Diamond.
Costumes at Ronjo go way beyond packaged pirate costumes, though they have that too. Here you will find museum condition garb, Hollywood quality make-up and a wig section that will make you flip.
Need fangs? There’s a case of them. Want to change your eyes from brown to blue or bloodshot? You can get a set of contact lenses there to do that. The horns here are hand sculpted and the Viking helmet you need for your costume looks like it came from a real Viking.
“We offer great quality stuff,” said Diamond. “But really, what makes us different is when you come in, we’re the ones who are going to make you look great. If I don’t do my job right you are not going to feel the part. You want to be a mermaid? You will smell like saltwater when I am done with you.”
Joe Barone is one of those customers who have shopped the store for decades. He was there looking at magic supplies for his four-year-old son and getting some costume ideas.
“It’s the service. Nowhere else can you find this,” said Barone.
Diamond knows the big box retailers and now, even online shops, are attracting a lot of customers, but he is also aware of his loyal following, the folks who come to him year after year.
“We are known for quality. We have customers from Montauk to Manhattan, but the big box competition is tough,” said Diamond. “I’ve set myself apart and that’s why I am still standing. If you want old fashioned service, this is the only store.”
Ronjo is located on Rt. 112 in Port Jefferson Station.