Have You Visited One of Manson’s Longest Standing Gift Shops?

by | Mar 14, 2023 | Things to Do

Sally and Lance Stark in front of Allison's Manson in Lake Chelan

Nestled in the heart of Downtown Manson, just 5 minutes walking distance from Mountain View Lodge & Resort, Allisons of Manson is a family-owned shop offering a variety of charming, unique, and diverse gifts. Adding to its intrigue, Allisons has a fascinating history behind its inception here in Manson!

Luckily, we had the opportunity to speak with the shop owner, Sally Stark, to learn more about her journey and what the shop means to those who visit. So come on down to Manson and explore all that’s offered at one of the longest-standing gift shops in Lake Chelan!

Allisons of Manson

Inside look at the old building of Allison's Manson in Lake Chelan

“Interestingly enough, the original building that Allisons of Manson occupied was a movie theater owned by the same individual that owned the Ruby Theatre in Chelan,” said Sally Stark.

“When we first started our business venture, we purchased Allisons of Manson from Nicki and John Allison in 2016. Before that, Nicki and John had opened and ran [the shop] since the 1970s for about 45 years,” said Sally.

After purchasing the new building, Sally and husband Lance converted all three stories of the building into something new for everyone to experience.

The first floor was the main shopping area, including jewelry, clothing, candles, local crafts, and more.

Just a short flight of steps up, Allisons showcased local artists’ work for sale in a beautiful art gallery.

Below the showroom, Sally built a “man cave” filled with tons of fun and games to play. 

Sally explained as she chuckled, “It was always funny to me because the wives would come in with their husbands to shop, while the husbands would immediately go down to the man cave where they could play shuffleboard and hang out.”

“We quickly found out that Allisons of Manson was more than just a gift shop here in Manson! It was one of those places every town has that people look forward to visiting whenever they arrive.”

The Future of Allisons of Manson

The stairs leading up to the thrid story inside of Allison's Manson

After owning and operating Allisons of Manson for three years, in 2019, Sally decided to take a step back from the business. She explained, “Honestly, the real challenge came from maintaining all three stories of the building for three years. It really became a lot to manage, so I decided to step back and close the doors.”

Locals and travelers alike were devastated to find out about this news. “I knew it was the best move at the time, but I still made the Allisons of Manson gift items available through pop-up shops in other businesses throughout the Lake Chelan Valley,” Sally said. 

She continued, “we did pop-up shops for about a year until I was approached towards the end of 2022 by my daughter Brittny to consider starting up another brick-and-mortar shop…[so] I decided to open the shop again in a smaller location.”

Allisons of Manson Opens Again

Open sign at Allison's Manson in Lake Chelan Washington

By August 2022, Sally had secured a new location and reopened just a month later. The new shop is conveniently located just across the street from the old building in Manson. “The store is significantly smaller than our last location, but that’s how we wanted it. It also allows us to better hone in on what we want our target gift items to sell in the shop,” explained Sally.

The store continuously changes and evolves to make things intriguing for people entering the shop. “Funny enough, we have a new section of the gift shop that is intended for the more maturely humored audience that comes in, and people really get a kick out of purchasing that stuff,” Sally laughed. 

Sally’s Most Cherished Moment

Sally reflected on her most cherished memory: “Just recently, in November 2022, I was working in the shop one day when an elderly woman entered the store. She must have been in her 80s, but she had asked me very curiously if this was Allisons of Manson?”

Sally went on to tell the woman, “yes, this is Allisons of Manson!” The elderly woman became ecstatic after hearing this news. She had been coming to Allisons of Manson for ages and shared how happy she felt now that the gift shop had opened again!

Sally and the woman spent the rest of the visit chatting about the old days of Allisons of Manson.

“Making people happy and excited to visit my gift shop truly is the reason why I love doing what I do,” Sally stated in a joyous tone as she reminisced on such a beautiful memory!

Stay at The Lodge and Explore

Birds eye view of Mountain View Lodge and Resort along with surrounding area

For the perfect vacation getaway, be sure to keep Allisons of Manson in mind during your stay at Mountain View Lodge & Resort! Whether you are looking for a souvenir or something special to give as a gift, Allisons of Manson will have exactly what you need.

Mark down your calendars and reserve your stay at The Lodge. We love hosting new and returning travelers and making their stay in Lake Chelan a truly magical experience.

Be sure to take a look at the deals and specials we currently have going on, and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. We’re always posting about the amazing things happening around Lake Chelan all year long!