ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Parkleigh is one of many treasures in the Rochester community.

Filled with luxury goods like chocolate, coffee, and jewels, Parkleigh has a story and that story starts with Bruce Cost, the founder who sadly passed away in July.

Going back 62 years, Bruce Kost was freshly graduated from pharmacy school in 1960 when he bought what is now the iconic Parkleigh building. From the get-go, Bruce was able to fulfill his professional aspirations and he was able to do it alongside his brother, Melvyn, according to Bruce’s son Jeff Kost.

“I think they were both very happy, being able to work together for a while,” Kost said.

Kost says while his dad loved being a pharmacist, he also had an eye for the finer things in life. That very reason is why he started selling luxury goods in his store. It started with imports from India and gradually, the selection just got bigger and bigger.

“I think as the neighborhood changed, he wanted to make sure that he was a part of the neighborhood, that the store was a part of the neighborhood and that they fit in,” Kost explained.

During this transitionary phase from pharmacy to specialty goods in the 70s, Bruce’s partner-in-crime was right alongside him the entire time. She was also the woman he ended up selling the business to in 2004.  Now, owner of Parkleigh, Jeannine Klee was hired at Parkleigh in 1972, eventually becoming vice president and merchandise manager.

“Everything excited us. We wanted to bring all this product to Rochester. So we traveled together. Some of that was his interests. Some of it was my interest. But it was just an exhilarating time in retail,” Klee said.

From the ground up, Bruce and Jeannine built Parkleigh into what it is now. A thriving gift shop in the heart of Park Avenue, but what remains true all these years is Bruce’s heart and the legacy he leaves behind.

“He was just so kind, and generous to people. As if he was welcoming them into his home. I learned a lot about kindness, and how to treat people from him,” said Bruce’s son Jeff.

Kost says his father rarely spent time in his office. He frequented the sales floor more than anywhere else, except maybe the parking lot.

“He was also someone who would go into the parking lot, and make sure that people had a place to park. He would shovel the sidewalk himself because he wanted people to be safe and be able to get into the store,” Kost said, “It’s just who he was.”

At 85-years-old, Bruce passed away on July 8 after suffering a stroke. He leaves behind his wife, 6 kids, 7 grandkids but he also leaves behind a story. A story that lives on in the success and popularity of a very special store located at 215 Park Avenue.

“What he’s left us with is how we treat our customers today, our core values. It rings true on everything he brought to the business,” Klee said.

Those core values? Have fun. Feel good. Buy stuff.

A celebration of life is being planned to honor Bruce sometime next month here in Rochester.