By Ben Olson
After 12 years in business, Pedro’s is closing its doors. Owners Lisa and Ken Larson first opened Pedro’s in the Cedar St. Bridge 12 years ago. The business then moved to the retail spot next door to the Panida Theater before landing at the southwest corner of Main St. and First Ave. in Sandpoint.
“When we first started, all I sold was alpaca products,” said Lisa. “Then I expanded into natural fibers, gifts and jewelery.”
Lisa said she started the business because she and Ken raised alpacas and wanted a storefront to sell the coveted material.
“Pedro was actually our first alpaca,” she said.
With Lisa’s plan to close the business and retire, the Larsons ended up gifting their remaining herd a year ago to a school in Newport to keep the animals together.
Over the years, Pedro’s has offered a plethora of exotic yarns and natural fiber products. Customers could find everything from sweaters to teddy bears, making it a favorite gift shop for those seeking something off the beaten path.
“They’ve been here a long time and done so much for the community,” said one customer, who requested anonymity. “They’re just nice people.”
Pedro’s last day of operation will be Saturday, Jan. 13, so those seeking a chance to make a purchase or say farewell should stop in before that.
Lisa said she is looking forward to retiring.
“I have a studio full of looms I’m looking forward to weaving in the winter,” she said. “And I like to row. I’ll do a lot of rowing in the summer.”
While Lisa plans a retirement, husband Ken has no such plans. Ken co-founded the North Idaho High School Aerospace Program, an organization with a goal to teach aviation and aviation mechanics to area students. Recently, Ken obtained a new heated hangar where he plans to set up a flight simulator and expand his flight training classes year round.
To celebrate Lisa’s retirement, the Larsons have planned a trip to Thailand, where they’ll spend time working at an elephant sanctuary.
Sandpoint boutique owner Kim Stocking at Bella Terra has plans to move into Pedro’s corner location as soon as Lisa has completed the closing.
“It will allow me to get a little elbow room and bring in new product lines that I’ve always wanted but haven’t had the space,” said Stocking. “I’m looking forward to the corner location.”
For Lisa, the dozen years she’s spent promoting natural fibers and caring for her herd of alpacas has been a joy.
“I got to know a lot of good people,” said Lisa. “I wouldn’t have met any of those people in town if I hadn’t worked there, because we’re way out in the sticks. I thank the community for all they’ve done. Everyone has come in pouting and saying ‘You can’t leave!’ but it’s been fun. We’re really excited.”
Stop into Pedro’s, 223 N. First Ave., for one last gasp before their closing on Saturday, Jan. 13.