Stay close to home for a day in downtown Edmonds

  • Tue Dec 6th, 2011 7:30pm

<b>FAMILY TIME | </b>By Caroline Lippert-Burrows For the Weekly Herald

One of the first impressions my husband and I had when we visited downtown Edmonds was how helpful and friendly the shop owners of this old-time community, around since 1890, were to us.

Each store welcomed us like we were old friends, happy to see us and in no rush for us to go.

The shops also gave off a sense of strength, like they had been there a long time and were there to stay.

One of the first places I wanted to visit was the Edmonds Bookshop on Fifth Avenue South, since I knew it had been there since I first arrived in Washington in 1990. The store, which is now owned by Mary Kay Sneeringer, has been around for more than 39 years.

I wanted to know if it was the tourist trade that kept this well established bookstore afloat for so many years.

“Our bread and butter are the people who live in the area and come in on a regular basis,” Sneeringer shared. “The tourist trade is our gravy.”

Sneeringer’s passion for books is easy to see. Her face lit up as she showed me the large kids’ section in her store. Her animation grew when she took her time to read me one of her favorite new children’s books, “I Want My Hat Back” by Jon Klassen.

There is something really inviting about The Wooden Spoon Kitchen Shop located across the street from the bookshop. With the multitude of kitchen and decorative trinkets and gadgets inside, the shop, which opened in 1971, may not come across as kid-friendly on first blush – but it is.

In fact, Wooden Spoon has items in their shop fun for kids (such as goofy animal magnets with wiggling limbs – they come in lion, frog, mouse and cow varieties) and there is a mascot cat named Woody for kids to pet while parents shop. Co-owner Dolly Null told me that adults come into the store all the time and tell her how they shopped with their mothers in her store when they were kids.

For a fun and interactive experience, check out Teri’s Toybox on Main Street. According to owner Teri Soelter, who has owned the store for more than 30 years, the store offers games and toys for kids of all ages, from infant to age 99.

Soelter obviously has enthusiasm for children having fun while they learn. She demonstrated how some of the science games work to engage kids while teaching them about the world. And for those just wanting play to their game, she also carries balls, princess objects, stuffed animals, animal statues and toy cars.

For a chance to enjoy some nostalgic candy like Abba Zaba, Sugar Babies, Big Hunk or Ice Cubes, or to taste some of President Obama’s unique favorite chocolate, Sea Salt Caramels, treat yourself and your family to a visit to Nama’s Candy Store on Fifth Avenue North.

The atmosphere is enticing, the candy memorable and there is a kid’s table with fun candy under a $1. Kids – and their parents – can grab a bag and fill it with whatever colorful candy suits their fancy.

For more information on downtown Edmonds, contact the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce at 425-670-1496 or