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New store will open this spring


Last updated 3/13/2019 at 10am

People who felt the loss of convenience when The Variety Store in Grand Coulee closed down will welcome the news that a new proprietor will open a new store by the same name in the same building.

Launi Ritter, who had attempted to come to rental terms with former owners of the building between Safeway and Coulee Hardware over a year ago. She and her parents, Doug and Mary Lou Lockard, had researched the business and were ready to start it up, but could not find a location with the right terms.

That changed Feb. 27, Ritter said, when A. J. Gerard called, wondering if they were still interested in the variety store building.

Gerard is a principal in the business that owns the hardware store next door, which had just purchased the variety store building.

Ritter said Tuesday that the lease had just been signed, and she hopes to achieve a “soft opening” in May, with a full grand opening in June.

“It helps that we’d already done a bunch of footwork a year ago and could just pull out and dust it off,” said Ritter, who also owns Heaven-Sent Computer Services.

She said she’s already planning to go to a variety store convention in April to scope out future merchandise.

But she said suggestions from the community are also quite welcome.

“We would love any suggestions about what they would like to see in a variety store,” she said. “At the moment, the sky’s the limit.”

People can send her those suggestions at


Reader Comments(2)

Debbie Sather writes:

Variety Store feedback: Please stock Nice Sweat Shirts with Grand Coulee Logo, Tank Tops Too Thank you


This is such good news. In the past I shopped at the Variety Store regularly. I was usually able to find what I needed whether it be underwear, socks, belts, t-shirts, kids toys, candles, postcards, spices, snacks, pet toys, rugs, kitchen gadgets, etc. So this is wonderful and I look forward to the opening. Thank you Launi Ritter!


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