Photo Shane Harms
A retirement sale will happen through January and into February with everything in store at least 20 percent off or more.

La Tienda closing its doors

It’s a sad day in Ballard after La Tienda owners Monique Tran and Fred Hart announced last Wednesday that they will be closing the store due to Hart retiring.

“With hearts filled with appreciation for over 51 years with our family of customers we have decided to retire and close the store. Luckily we are all in good health and looking forward to some new directions and fresh challenges,” wrote the two owners in their announcement.

With no for sure plans yet, Tran said she is going to take some time to spent with her family.

“I am going on to the next new adventure in my life, though I don't know what it is. I am taking a few months off to spend time with my husband and daughter, then I will be looking for a job in the fall. You will still see me in Ballard as a customer of these great local shops,” Tran wrote in an email to the Ballard News Tribune.

In 1962 La Tienda first opened in the University District by then owner, Leslie Grace, after being inspired by the artisans and folk art she saw at the Seattle World’s Fair.

25 years ago Tran and Hart purchased La Tienda. In 1998 they opened their second location in Ballard.

“9 years ago we closed the store in the University District, and we decided we wanted to focus our business in Ballard, and we had a great community to be a part of,” said Tran.

The store has been a hub for folk craft and art varying broadly in styles and cultures. Tran said that local crafters and artisans make up half of the items in the store and the other half is a internationally imported goods from artisans and companies.

“Many of the artisans have been working with us for over 20, 30, 40 years, and most of our goods are fair trade.”

Tran operated the shop like it was an extension of her own home.

“My 11 year old daughter will miss La Tienda very much too. She has grown up at La Tienda from when she was a month old and would come in and help our display person as well as open jewelry cases for customers. We are a family shop.”

On top of being a business owner and fellow customer to local shops, Tran has been an active member of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, acting on the board, and was instrumental in reviving the Merchants Association with Christy McDanold, of Secret Garden Bookstore.

“I learned a lot and would encourage anyone in Ballard with a business to get involved in their community. ... I will miss all the people I've been privilege to work with at the chamber and within the Merchant group. I have made many friends.”

A retirement sale will happen through January and into February with everything in store at least 20 percent off or more.

“ I have been telling people that we plan to close the doors at end of February or when we run out of stock.”

Store hours are 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturdays and 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Sundays.

“We are going to miss being in Ballard. This is a great community and we feel very lucky to be here and to have had so many years with some extraordinary customers.”

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.