Named after the eccentric recluse in the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Boo Radley’s is Spokane’s “toy store for all ages” where you can discover all things wacky, edgy and unusual.
From old-school lunchboxes and socks with sarcastic sayings to a myriad of pop culture-themed gifts, it’s a place unlike any other for family and friends to shop, smile and laugh.
In her quest to keep things fresh and unique, manager Jen Menzer orders new products almost daily, and if she sees their inventory other places, they move away from it.
In recent years, their stickers have emerged as a hot seller, especially their Spokane-themed stickers. Boo Radley’s staff comes up with the funny and offbeat text, and one of their employees – an amazing artist – helps design them.
“We try to encourage everyone’s quirks here,” shared Jen. “Everybody’s got a different talent in their wheelhouse, and we let them exercise that creativity.”
What Jen loves most is when she overhears customers telling their out-of-town friends: “This is my favorite store. I had to bring you in here!”
Jen can relate.
In 2001, her husband worked at Boo Radley’s and Jen would often come by to hang out and rearrange books. She was there so much, owner Andy Dinnison finally offered her a job.
Even though Jen had never worked retail, she fell in love with it and knew she’d found her calling. Within five years, she became the manager and is currently in the works to become the new owner.
“I love the people I work for, and I love the people I work with,” Jen said. “I get asked if I have friends outside of work, and the answer is not really. I’d rather go to work and hang out with friends.”
Their location at 232 N. Howard Street allows Jen and her team to easily experience the best of downtown Spokane. On breaks they can walk across the street to Riverfront Park, relax and enjoy the sights. “What other city gets to have a river running right through the middle of it?” Jen commented.
Throughout the past year, Jen’s been blown away by the community support they’ve received. When Boo Radley’s was closed for 80 days during the pandemic, Jen would get emails all the time with people asking, “How can I support you?” “Can we buy gift cards?”
Especially during the holidays, people were adamant about not buying anything online and instead shopping local. To see Spokane residents supporting their own tribe instead of the national big guys is something Jen will never forget.
With increased customer capacity, things are finally starting to feel normal again at Boo Radley’s.
“I’m looking forward to all of us being able to get vaccinated and enjoy the spring, to get back to the way things were the best we can,” Jen said.