A total toy experience - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Meghan Sparks

A total toy experience

KELLOGG, MN (FOX 47) -- Many of you might have spent part of your holiday weekend checking off your shopping lists, but for one local toy store, it's the experience that counts for families more than the price tags.

Lark Toys is more than just a toy store.

"There's an awful lot of wows."

It's a total experience.

Kathy and Ron Gray almost lost their daughter in childbirth six years ago and wanted to do something that would keep them all together.

"Our son-in-law came home from work in LaCrosse and said 'Lark's for sale, why don't we buy it.' After meeting with the owners and talking with them we found a way to make it work," says Ron.

They bought the store almost a year ago and say so far, it's been a wonderful experience.

From the carousel to the hundreds of toys the Grays say there is something here for everyone.

"Everyday we see grandmothers and babies smiling at each other and moms and dads having time together having a tea party or reading a book on the couch in the bookstore," says Kathy.

The store carries few battery operated toys and the Grays have even continued the tradition of crafting wooden toys.

"People say I've collected these over the years and have almost everyone that you make now," says Ron.

The Grays say they want Lark to be a place for families to escape the fast-paced world and for some bring back fond memories from the past.

"People will say I had that exact same thing when I was a kid and do you remember that and playing with those," says Ron.  "So there are a lot of memories to be recalled as they visit the store."

So far, the Grays say they've had a good start to the holiday shopping season.

Although many stores are struggling right now, they say the tough economy hasn't directly affected them and they hope to keep it that way.

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