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‘I don’t want to pack and go.’ Oakhurst business owner in danger of closing

Amir Sade, owner of Heavens, inside the store on Friday, Oct. 5. The art gallery and gift shop opened on Sept. 15 and conveys a celestial theme through the products it carries and the music it plays.
Amir Sade, owner of Heavens, inside the store on Friday, Oct. 5. The art gallery and gift shop opened on Sept. 15 and conveys a celestial theme through the products it carries and the music it plays. wramirez@sierrastar.com

An Oakhurst business owner says he may have to close his celestial gift shop soon if business doesn’t pick up.

Heavens owner Amir Sade will make the final decision this week whether he can continue to operate his art and decor shop. Heavens opened at 40671 Highway 41 in September 2018, but Sade says business has been slow.

“We’re just bleeding here financially,” he said.

Heavens is a passion for Sade, and it plays into his interest in space and astronomy. Paintings and home decor are influenced by planets and stars. A separate darkroom houses lamps. Sade even plays music inside the shop, adding to the atmosphere.

The first store opened at Sierra Vista Mall in 2008 and stayed open five years. Sade reopened the store at Fashion Fair in 2016, but closed it soon after to move to his hometown of Oakhurst.

Sade believes if Heavens closes this time, it will be for good.

The problem, Sade believes, is that only a small number of residents are aware of his shop. The customers that do come in make purchases and post positively on Facebook about it, he said.

He also worries that the name of the store is keeping some away. “The name gives a general religious notion to people,” he said. “They think it’s a religious store and they don’t come in.”

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Heavens in Oakhurst, CA sells home decor art, novelty lights, lasers, projectors, books, movies and music. Amir Sade Special to The Bee

Tourists driving through to Yosemite have given him much of his business lately. “I get more tourists than I get locals, but tourists can’t buy a lot of big items, because they’re traveling,” he said.

Sade said he’s left advertisements at hotels, restaurants and schools, and he has been in local publications, but that isn’t enough.

“Everybody likes the shop,” he says. “I don’t want to pack and go after 10 months.”

Heavens is located at 40671 Highway 41 in Oakhurst, right across from Denny’s. The store is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. To reach Heavens by phone, call 559-676-1693.

Ashleigh Panoo: 559-441-6010, @AshleighPanoo
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