Croton-on-Hudson has welcomed a new, charmingly old-fashioned addition to the Village: Croton Corners.
The Soda Shop/General Store/Arcade is a family business in the best and purest sense. It is created for families by a family.
The Tokkes, who own Croton Corners, are no stranger to family businesses. Dr. Hans Tokke and wife Dr. Cheryl Tokke, both college professors in New York City, run a home décor business called Double Docs Design.
The retail store opened in the Upper Village of Croton-on-Hudson in spring 2021. When the key corner property across the street from Double Docs became available, Hans happily leased it as the home for Croton Corners.
Hans had been dreaming of opening a general store for a long time. He imagined a place that would appeal to both young and old, especially the young who, he felt, had limited entertainment and socializing options in the Upper Village.
Hans, along with his son Graydon Tokke and daughter-in-law Tessa Tokke (married to Graydon’s brother), brainstormed what to do with the new space. Together, they decided on a hybrid store model that would include a general store, featuring candy and sweets, a retro soda fountain, and a retro arcade.
The Town Engineer and Planning Board were very supportive of the idea. After Mayor Brian Pugh and the Board of Trustees worked to update a local law to allow for arcades, the Tokkes moved forward with their family plan.
Croton Corners, which opened in September 2021, manages to feel both nostalgic and new. The Soda Shop serves classic and handmade sodas, Brooklyn (chocolate) and Manhattan (vanilla) egg creams, snow cones (the “dummy light” has lime, lemon and strawberry syrups), and many creative floats — the “Croton Point” = sour blue raspberry soda + vanilla ice cream; the “Aqueduct” = coconut soda + chocolate ice cream + chocolate syrup.
Also on the menu are hot dogs, soft pretzels and other sweets. The General Store features a curated selection of Hudson Valley artisanal foods and crafts, from candy to pancake mixes to charcuterie boards, dog treats, and soaps.
The Arcade includes more than 40 years of cabinet and console videogame history from the 1970s through 2007. There are more than 4,000 games to play, including classics such as Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Super Mario, and game brands Sega, Atari, Nintendo, and XBox.
In the future, Croton Corners hopes to host birthday parties, small shows, film festivals, live music, and social events. The Tokkes have a vision for it to become a joyful center of the community in the Upper Village and even broader Westchester County.
“It is a place for the whole family that is entertaining, fun, nostalgic, and loving,” Hans says. “We hope it will bring families together to enjoy one another… a place for the older folk in the community to relive some of their youth with a classic soda or egg cream … a space where youth and children can feel at home during lunch and after school.”
124 Grand Street
Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. 10520
Caedra Scott-Flaherty is a writer living in Croton-on-Hudson. Find her at Caedra.com.