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Guests of Honor at Saturday's Ribbon Cutting included Mayor Earnie Porta and Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May.

Local Business Puts the Pieces of the Puzzle Together

Puzzle Palooza Etc. Celebrates Grand Opening in Historic Occoquan

Photos and story by Amy Falkofske

Guests of Honor at Saturday's Ribbon Cutting included Mayor Ernie Porta and Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May,
Guests of Honor at Saturday’s Ribbon Cutting included Mayor Earnie Porta and Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May.

On Saturday, the last piece was put into place and a new adventure began for owners Donna Carleton and Holly VandenHeuvel, who celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of their new puzzle store, Puzzle Palooza Etc., in historic Occoquan.

Among those in attendance at the 11am ribbon cutting, were Puzzle Palooza’s custom puzzle designer Greg Fry, Occoquan Supervisor Mike May and Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta.

Mayor Porta commented that he is very pleased to have Puzzle Palooza as a part of historic Occoquan: “It is a unique store for Occoquan. We like to have an eclectic mix of stores in Occoquan; and Puzzle Palooza obviously adds to that unique mix,” he said.

The venture was born last May when Donna and Holly discovered their mutual love of jigsaw puzzles while at a friend’s wedding. The two set their plans in motion by making a business plan and consulting an accountant.  They both agreed that they wanted their store in Occoquan, so when Old Dominion Wine Shoppe vacated their space for a bigger space across the street, what started as a whim became a reality. “We’ve both enjoyed shopping and dining in Occoquan for many years and are now proud to be members of the business community.  We look forward to sharing our love for jigsaw puzzles with people of all ages,” said Donna.

Both Donna and Holly have an interest in Autism Awareness. A 3D LED puzzle was raffled off to benefit Autism research and during the month of April a portion of Puzzle Palooza Etc.’s proceeds will go towards Autism research as well.  The store also offers jewelry with the puzzle piece emblem which represents Autism Awareness.

Opening Day
Opening Day

Puzzle Palooza Etc., located at 408 Mill St., carries puzzles for all ages including 3 piece puzzles up to puzzles with several thousand pieces. In addition to traditional jigsaw puzzles and 3D puzzles, they also have six sided cube puzzles, create your own puzzles and wooden peg puzzles, glitter puzzles, fuzzy puzzles and glow in the dark puzzles for children.

The store’s winter hours will be Tuesday through Sunday 11am-6pm (closed Mondays-except holidays). You can follow Puzzle Palooza Etc. on Facebook and Twitter at Puzzle Palooza Etc. Inc.  You can contact the store at [email protected] or by calling 703-494-0680.

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