Mock greets each customer who walks in the door the same way - exuberantly.
"It doesn't matter what race, gender or religion your are, all of our customers are greeted the same way - with friendly service," says Mock, who owns the party supply and rental company with his wife, Cathy.
Even the couple's 10-year-old twins, Nathan and Naomi, help out with pricing items and stocking shelves. "It really is a family-owned and operated business," Mock said. "As are other family-owned and operated businesses located within the Zachary community. We support them all, as should everyone. I never shop at Walmart, and why should I? Not when I can get just what I need from local shop-owners in the community."
First Stop Party Shoppe, if you've never been, truly is your one-stop party place.
The 5,000 square foot building is stocked year-round with napkins, cups, table cloths, invitations, costumes and accessories, beads, balloons (regular and helium), decorations, seasonal items for every holiday and festivity you can think of, Wilton cake decorating supplies and a whole lot more.
Mock says custom-imprinted invitations, cups and napkins are also available, as well as the rental of inflatables, tables, chairs, cake fountains and snow cone, cotton candy and bubble machines.
Jumping inflatables and helium balloons are also available for delivery to your home or business.
"If we don't have it, we can usually get it," said Mock. "We will fulfill special orders as long as we receive about a week's notice."
Every Thursday from 6-8 p.m., First Stop Party Shoppe conducts cake-decorating classes strictly using the Wilton course. Each participant in the class also receives a certificate upon completion.
The Mocks have run First Stop Party Shoppe for about seven years in the Zachary community, and for the past three, it's been located at 4320 Highway 19.
First Stop Party Shoppe is open Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m., to 4 p.m.
However, Mock is quick to point out that no customer is ever turned away. "If it's right at closing time and we're still here, we'll open the shop back up. People rely on us to be here, so it's important we're here for them."
Mock's experience in retail management since the age of 16 has contributed to his business's success. "My grandfather also instilled a really great work ethic in me," Mock said. "I once walked 10 miles and hitched another 10 to ask for a job at the Sonic Drive-In in St. Francisville."
Mock says he keeps four principles in mind when it comes to running his business: Always put God first, always be consistent with our products or selections for customers, be there when you're supposed to be there and always provide friendly service.
"I wouldn't have a business anywhere else," said Mock, about being in the Zachary community. "We offer competitive pricing so people don't have to drive into Baton Rouge...why pay more when you can save gas and time and often pay less by shopping here? We also keep a great and plentiful inventory of our items."
Mock adds that First Stop Party Shoppe is big on seasonal items, and costumes complete with plenty of accessories are sold year-round. "Sure, Halloween is a big time for us, but we offer so much more all the time...for every season, holiday and celebratory event."
For graduation season, First Stop even sells balloon columns and archways (plus other kinds of balloon art), graduate signs, banners and more.
First Stop Party Shoppe can be found online at www.firststoppartyshoppe.com or on Facebook.
For more information, contact Nelson or Cathy Mock at First Stop Party Shoppe at 225-654-9177.
"Once you run a family-owned business, you realize just how important it is to support other family-owned businesses. You're not only supporting local commerce, but families as well," Mock said.