By Jim Misunas
LARNED — Retired schoolteachers Sherry and Isaac Lemuz are living their dream.
Their part-time job operating “Regalos,” a specialty store, keeps them busy and offers them a unique way to stay connected with Larned citizens. Regalos is a Spanish word that means gifts. Several gifts are tailored for Spanish-speaking shoppers to come by. Regalos is open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Sherry was a longtime Great Bend USD 428 special education teacher who also worked at Sacred Heart School in Larned. Isaac retired as a special education teacher in kindergarten through ninth grade at Westside School, which is operated by Larned USD 495.
You have to see Regalos to appreciate the variety of moderately priced specialty items. The Lemuz’s said their store is perfect for a budget-conscious shopper. When a child stops by, Sherry will even tell them a “secret.”
When you see how many items are stuffed inside the business at 215 W. 15th, you wonder where they acquired all that stuff.
Isaac explained that their son, Jack David Lemuz of Chicago, worked for Readers Digest and was involved in liquidating the “Books are Fun,” program which enjoyed a strong association with the Reader’s Digest outlet stores.
When Reader’s Digest started liquidating its assets, Jack Lemuz started a business model that was launched with the Oops Outlet stores. He bought inventory to start a budget-conscious Oops Outlet store.
“It was a lot of work, but we helped Jack set up several outlet stores , mainly on the east coast,” Isaac said. “We saw that type of store had a lot of potential.”
Sherry and Isaac started to gather up a variety of items and store them until Sherry had seen enough.
“We were able to buy some items at a reasonable price,” Sherry said. “Opening a local store was the only way I was going to get Isaac to clean out the garage. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Being former educators, they both support books geared for children from the Books are Fun program.
“I love books and we both love sports — so those items are fun to put on display,” she said.
When a child inquires about whether they are permitted to touch or play with items, Sherry will tell them her secret. One child thought it was Christmas when she told him it was OK to touch the toys.
‘I can touch mom — I love this store,’ the child told his mom.
“Children can play with the remote-control cars and the helicopters,” she said. “I encourage the children to have fun.”
Expanded Christmas hours at Regalos will begin after Thanksgiving. Regalos will open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week.