David Stark always wanted to own a business. His wife, Robyn, loved visiting and shopping at The Queen Bee at 270 25th Street in Ogden. So, when they found out it was up for sale four years ago, they took the leap, bought it and have never looked back.
The popular gift/book/chocolate store is a delight to all who enter its doors and the Starks love it. When they bought the quaint and cozy business on Historic 25th Street Robyn had just had her fifth child and had been a stay-at-home mom for 12 years. To say it was a big change would be an understatement, but she has loved the lessons it has taught her children. “It’s important for them to see we can do hard things and to be pushed out of our comfort zone,” Robyn said. She laughed as she said her youngest was at the store with her that day. “She doesn’t know life without the business,” she said of her four-year-old.
It is definitely a family affair – their children frequently help there or at home. “We include them in the decisions and they have had to grow up pretty fast in some ways. They do a lot more babysitting and cooking,” Robyn mused.
The Starks didn’t want to change a lot when they bought the store from Hailey Zenger and her mother-in-law, who originally opened the shop in 2011. “The previous owners were artists and were into art and I have more of a science background, so that may show,” Robyn said. They hand-pick everything that sits on the shelves and have added more toys and games over the past few years. But they have one hard and fast rule about the toys: no batteries or electronics! “We have so many fun things,” she said of the creative, wooden, and varied toys and games in the store. They have also added more children’s and young adult books, which have been popular. “I’m in that realm right now,” Robyn noted because of her children.
They also have a variety of gifts and collectibles. They pride themselves on the fact that someone can come in, find a gift and a card and have it wrapped and be ready to go in no time.
But their number one seller? The chocolate! They specialize in fine hand-crafted local chocolate. They have loved getting to know local chocolatiers and the wonderful chocolate bars they get to sell because of it. They have a monthly chocolate tasting class where for $15 attendees get to try seven different bars. “It is unique and people really love it,” she said.
Queen Bee gets about one-third of their chocolates from Caputo’s in Salt Lake City and all the rest from individual companies. The most popular chocolate really varies from month to month or week to week. Right now it’s a Utah chocolate called Dos Rios from Amano. It’s a rich dark chocolate that Robyn said is delicious. She has enjoyed all she has learned about chocolate and the layers and types there are. “It’s really terrible. I get to come and try chocolate. It’s just the worst,” she said with a big laugh.
Being located on Historic 25th Street has been a wonderful experience for the small business owners. “I didn’t know what to think when we first bought [the business]. I was totally out of my comfort zone,” Robyn said. But she has been amazed by the kindness of all the business owners. “Endless Indulgence has mentored me on everything. The other day I had a question on a bill and I took it to Leigh (Dean) at Craftburger and she went right to work to resolve it,” Robyn said. “The people here are so good to each other,” she added. They have benefitted from being part of the Downtown Alliance as well.
The next chocolate tasting is on November 9 at 7 p.m.