For 42 years, the volunteers have done it all. They’ve been buyers, managers, designers, decorators, and saleswomen. Though their location may have changed since they opened the original green-framed shop on East Green Street, their mission has not.
At their present location—right across the patio from El Portal Restaurant, at the end of Arcade Lane on Colorado Boulevard—thirty volunteers rotate to keep the Green House Gift Shop open six days a week.
Fran Kristof says they are extremely grateful for their popular neighbor because customers of the Yucatan/Mexican restaurant notice the little gift shop while they’re dining. Quite frequently, after they’ve finished their meal, they’ll step over, take a look in the decorative windows, be lured inside, be greeted by the friendly staff, and by then, a sale is about as good as done.
Currently the store hosts a slew of Halloween decorations, ceramic bowls for candy, mini haunted houses, witches, and trick ‘o treaters. There are items aplenty for birthdays, house-warming presents, or any gift-giving holiday: throw pillows, serving trays, porcelain jars, teapots, and figurines. The store also carries a selection of marmalade, preserves, chutney, and olive oil from E. Waldo Ward in Sierra Madre.
One Sunday, Regan Boone (the store manager and reigning junk queen) called up her mother, Marilyn Sachs, President of the Green House Children’s Fund, and said, “How about we open the shop today?”
It turned out to be one of their busiest days. Unfortunately, without more volunteers willing to dedicate 3-4 hours a month, they don’t have enough hands on deck to have the store open more frequently. Regan invites anyone interested in minding the store to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
After paying for the store rent and utilities, all of the proceeds are earmarked for the Endowment Fund for Surgical Research. Since 1970, this group of dedicated women has given over $1 million.
The Green House is a lovely shop with an eclectic array of goods—a labor of love for a good cause.
The Green House Gift Shop
696 E. Colorado Blvd., Arcade Lane (right across from Vroman’s)
Hours: Mon., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tues.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Parking off of Green St., between El Molino and Oak Knoll