Granby new business: To brighten your day: Store offers, books, gifts, ice cream
July 26, 2009
“It’s my happy place,” said Tallie Gray about her new store location in Granby. Gray finds bliss in retail, but mostly as the seller, not the shopper. When she was 5, she would peddle donuts to people waiting in long lines for gasoline during the 1970s oil embargo.”My dad gave me a little wagon and I would go up and down selling donuts and coffee,” she said. “I just wanted to make people happy. I know it’s conducive to inner happiness, too.”But shopper, she is not. “I’m not a shopper myself. I actually hate shopping. I don’t ever go to the malls,” she said.A bright-yellow painted exterior with a hand-painted ice cream cone Gray crafted herself creates a warm welcome at her Granby store.Called The Sun Piper, after Gray’s middle name Piper, the store offers ice cream, books and a variety of gifts. She painted the sun illustration on the sign that beckons Highway 40 drivers in for a treat. When she did so, she thought of adding, “Gifts that Brighten Your Day.” “I knew I wanted something with a sun,” she said.Out the door from where she offers scoops of Dryers ice-cream is a patio seating area open to a view of the mountains and SolVista ski basin. “It’s kind of my sanctuary. I love sitting back here and checking out the view,” Gray said during a lull before two boys came into the store for morning floats.The store offers a roomful of books with hundreds of titles from best sellers to regional books to classics. A children’s section displays more books and a wide variety of children’s puppets and toys. In other parts of the store are lotions, cosmetics and purses, robes and slippers, locally made jewelry and home decor. “I try to have a lot of Colorado-made items,” Gray said. “I was an art major in school, so I really appreciate beautiful, good quality items, and I love working with the artisans. If I don’t like it, I won’t buy it because I wouldn’t be able to sell it.”Gray has been the co-owner of the Cascades Cabin gift store in Winter Park with her mother Avis since 1999. The two of them owned the former Cascades of the Rockies store in Grand Lake starting in 1992, a Cascades franchise that spread for a short time to Breckenridge and Copper Mountain as well as Winter Park. Now after a decade in the Winter Park location, Gray has decided to close the store. The final day of Cascades Cabin is July 31. Sales end July 27.”It was time to move on,” Gray said. The decision to open retail in Granby was part because of its proximity to her home and part because of the economy, she said. Besides running the new store, Gray plans to attend school starting Aug. 7 to obtain an elementary-school teaching degree. The Streamside Art building opened up just two weeks after Gray had decided to close the old store and open anew in Granby.”I kept driving by it, checking it out, and I thought, ‘I think this is somewhere I’m supposed to be,’ she said. – Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail email@example.com.