BY: RACHEL SMITH
This story has been many, many years in the making. Over forty, which is incredible. Dave and Ralphene Stokke were married in 1966 and opened their first store in Forest City that same year. Then, in 1978, they moved their family and their business to Clear Lake and have been here ever since. Ralphene was even involved in beginning the annual “Antiques in the Square” event in Clear Lake!
So what type of things could you find in Ralphene’s, one might ask.
Oh boy… the list is endless, really.
Ralphene’s, located on beautiful Main Street in downtown Clear Lake, offers gifts and goodies galore for anyone and everyone. Especially at this time of year, I love to see the many Christmas tree displays and holiday decorations adorning the walls and shelves.
But never fear, if you only visit the lake in the summer, they keep a “Christmas room” up all year long. It’s filled with hand-painted carolers, sleepy looking elves, various Santa decorations, and so much more. It’s sure to put you in the Christmas Spirit, even in July!
On a recent stop inside the store, I was told to “look up and look down” while I browsed the merchandise. At first I thought, ‘Huh, that’s an odd thing to say.” But then I actually followed their advice, and it seriously took my shopping experience to a whole new level. SO many items that I would have just glossed over had I not taken the time!
See? When I say there’s something for everyone in this store, I literally mean those exact words. It’s too much to list, really, so you’ll just need to stop in and see it for yourself! Hey – maybe you need a last minute gift for a person who’s REALLY hard to buy for? I guarantee Ralphene would have something for them!
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