(Photo by Scott)
A few years ago, Karen Letourneau looked for a way to grow her business. Letourneau’s popular hand-crafted gift boutique, Lone Crow Bungalow, was busting at the seams in the N.P. Smith Pioneer Hardware Building location at 937 NW Wall, with no possibility of renovation the historical site.
“I had been looking for a growth opportunity for about a year, even considering opening in the valley, when my husband and I decided to look at buying and renovating a building,” explains Letourneau.
After looking for a property, and taking into account the high cost of rent versus a mortgage, Karen and her husband, Dr. Scott Letourneau noticed the E.M. Thompson Building, at 831 NW Wall Street was for sale. After consulting with contractors, architects and the Small Business Administration, they purchased the building with the plan of having Karen’s new business on the street level and rent out the second story office space.
After eight months of renovation, Letourneau’s new shop, Lark, is set to open September 21. Lark, with a tagline of “Mountain Modern,” will offer, “well-crafted objects and décor items that combine stellar design with natural materials and functionality.”
Lark and Lone Crow Bungalow are subsidiaries of Bend Bungalow LLC. While both sell well-crafted objects and decor items, they will offer gifts of different styles. Whereas Lone Crow Bungalow specializes in 1920’s American Bungalow style, Lark will deal in items that focus on natural materials and functionality.
Each store caters to locals and tourists alike by offering handcrafted items that are not mass-produced.
The new Lark space, and accompanying mezzanine, will be 3,000 square feet, plus an exterior courtyard for events, and a possible food cart. The Letourneaus tried to maintain much of the original interior style of the building, including the original maple floors.
The Letourneaus moved to Central Oregon in 1998 and live on Bend’s east side with their two dogs. Karen grew up in an entrepreneurial family and worked retail while attending college in Vermont. She opened Bend Bungalow, now Lone Crow Bungalow, in 2001.
“We strive to offer a memorable experience at both shops, not just another gift shop,” says Karen Letourneau. “We have honed this skill at Lone Crow Bungalow and hope to garner the same praise at Lark.”
Lark Mountain Modern
831 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR 97703
CEO: Karen Letourneau
No. Employees: 4
Year Established: 2015
Product/Service: Lark offers well-crafted gift and décor items that combine modern design with natural materials and functionality, with an emphasis on American made.
Hot News: Letourneau is opening her second boutique gift shop and hoping to capitalize on her success at Lone Crow Bungalow.
Outlook for Growth: By owning the building where her shop will be located, Letourneau is bypassing rent for a mortgage, which makes long-term business sense.