Every fairytale beginning has an ending, and so goes the storyline for Guchiebird’s. The popular boutique tucked into Little Avenue in Driggs whose quiet charm has captured the hearts of thousands both near and far, is for sale.
This next chapter will find owners Guch Lombardi and Chuck Spray embarking on the last year as the popular shop has an anticipated closing date of Aug. 31, 2020.
“We’re not leaving the valley,” said Guch from the back of the store last week, framed by boxes still needing to be unpacked and new art still needing to go out on display for the upcoming holiday shopping season. “We are a ‘mom and pop who live on top’ and we have made the decision to retire. We are going to see the world.”
Guch and Chuck built the tall, rectangular building on Little Avenue after making the decision more than 13 years ago to pull up stakes in Jackson and put down roots in Teton Valley. This was just before the recession and housing bust, but they never wavered in their commitment to growing their dream along Little Ave, even as the economy waxed and waned.
While Guch grew the store, Chuck maintained his wood-working skills in the back, designing and hand crafting guitars. He laughed last week remembering that this building, which houses the businesses downstairs and their private lives upstairs, was his last project as a contractor. “I had it in me to do one more building,” Chuck said.
“It’s the cat’s pajamas to own your own business,” said Guch.
She’s worked hard over the years to provide unique items without directly competing with other local businesses. She has always been committed to selling American made pieces and aside from interacting with the community on a daily basis, she will miss those trade shows each year where she would discover and bring back to the valley new and exciting pieces of art to wear, display and gift.
Perhaps the highlights for the team was not found in beautiful wares to sell, but in the simple every day interactions with customers. From old timers who have perused the shelves and shared their stories, to watching valley families grow and change with each passing birthday, anniversary, wedding and baby shower, they have always welcomed the occasional gift of chocolate and, said Chuck, the hugs were always free.
“Having a store like this has been a terrific way to meet the people, and not just the people who live here, but the people who visit here,” said Guch who has been proud of her loyal, return customers who make it a point to stop at Guchiebird’s every time they visit the valley. “I have learned how diverse this place is – from those who grew up here, to customers who used to be nuclear physicists and doctors and authors – this store has hosted an amazing cross section of the valley. We always thought, these are the people who are choosing the right side of the Tetons.”
The business, like Teton Valley, has enjoyed continued growth, said Guch who added that they just had their best year in retail to date.
“We are growing and Teton Valley is on the map. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but everyone who moves here has a birthday,” she said with a knowing smile.
The store will be opened seven days a week beginning Dec. 4 for the holiday shopping season. Serious inquiries about purchase of the business can be directed to Chuck. The couple is hopeful that the business will move out of the current building possibly to Main Street. Chuck may be reached at (208) 354-5649.