It is summer vacation and you might be looking for things for your whole family to do.
The Corner Door Fountain and Books, 3301 N. Argonne Road, has been a fixture in Millwood for 21 years. It’s packed with eclectic art, books, gifts, puppets and local history.
“It’s sort of evolved over time,” said Bobbie Beese, one of three siblings who own the store, along with her sister, Betsy Mott, and their brother, Greg Mott.
Betsy Mott used to work at Waldenbooks, so when she came to work at the Corner Door, they brought in books. They sell new and used books, local history books, kids books, art books, books by local authors and more.
“They are books you can’t find in other places,” Betsy Mott said.
The building is an old drugstore built around 1925. When they redesigned the building, they kept the old soda fountain. Now, on top of espresso, sandwiches, salads and baked goods, customers can get an old-fashioned ice cream soda.
The three siblings added parts of their own personalities to the shop. Beese is a local historian who, with Greg Mott, wrote a walking tour book of Millwood. Visitors can purchase the book for $4 and learn about the buildings in the small town.
Betsy Mott features her artwork – she sells art at science fiction conventions and also creates gift cards featuring historic buildings around the greater Spokane Valley area, especially Millwood. She has also created hand-painted jewelry and bookmarks.
Greg Mott bakes five kinds of homemade cookies.
“These aren’t where we take the shortcuts,” Betsy Mott said of her brother’s baking.
Beese said she likes the way they have incorporated their own talents and interests into the store. For Betsy, she likes the store’s presence in the community.
“I kind of like it being the center of the neighborhood,” she said. Neighbors often meet at the shop to discuss local news and families come for the ice cream and gifts.
A popular item of the store is puppets. Beese said they started selling them for a group of music teachers in the area. Beese’s husband, Todd, is a retired music teacher.
“You get started with puppets and they grow,” Betsy Mott said of them. “Everybody seems to say we are the largest puppet store in the area.”
The three grew up in the Dishman area and went to West Valley schools. They are deeply rooted in the activities of Millwood, such as the farmers market on Wednesdays and the annual Millwood Daze celebration, which is coming up in August.
“It’s a fun day with people out everywhere,” Beese said.
They said the Millwood City Park is a great spot for a picnic and the city’s wading pool should be opening July 1.
Millwood has also dived into local First Friday celebrations. Visitors can stop by Bottles on Argonne Road, check out the Millwood Gallery on Euclid Avenue and drop by the Corner Door for out-of-print books.
Beese said they often check eBay for books her customers have been asking for and try to keep their prices reasonable.
“We don’t want to charge our customers something outrageous,” Beese said.