What is known as GoodThings today began back in 1973 in the basement of a downtown White Bear Lake bank building. At age 22, with a $5,000 loan from her father, Sharon Conrad’s opened Spanky’s Emporium, a 500-square-foot store filled with shirts and socks for teens. She quickly learned the first three rules of running a successful retail store were location, location, location, so Sharon made the move to a street-front location on Banning Avenue. Throughout the next 41 years, GoodThings would evolve through many different name changes and several locations in and around White Bear Lake.
The entrepreneurial spirit was also in the blood of Sharon’s son, Tyler Conrad, who started a manufacturing business of his own in 1993—coincidentally, also at the age of 22. Tyler realized he wanted to eventually make GoodThings his own, and in 1998, Tyler joined Sharon in the family business and the two set their sights on expansion.
In 2003, the mother-son team opened a second GoodThings location at The Shoppes of Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove, Minn.
In 2014, GoodThings expanded its downtown White Bear Lake operations, creating a multi-level clothing, shoe, and activewear boutique, GoodThings Clothing, right next door to the existing gift store.
With the addition of clothing to the new locations, Sharon and Tyler also broadened the gift store’s selection of kitchen gadgets, gourmet food, home accents and gifts.
In 2016, with a growing demand for children’s clothing, toys and gifts, Sharon and Tyler added a third store location downtown White Bear Lake, and GoodThings Kids was born!
In all it does and at all its stores, GoodThings focuses on finding trends before they appear in the mass market and specializes in ensuring the purchases its customers make are treasured for a lifetime.The aroma of freshly baked treats and delicious coffee is once again wafting through the streets of historic downtown White Bear Lake! Nestled between the GoodThings gift store and GoodThings Clothing, GoodThings Café may be new to the GoodThings family, but it is founded in the spirit of a 40-year-old White Bear Lake tradition that started with Grandma’s Bakery. GoodThings Café is open in the same location to bring family and friends together to enjoy all the good things that downtown has to offer.