Bob Stanley, the original owner and namesake to Stan’s saw a business opportunity post WWII as he drove a semi-truck to Salt Lake City to purchase military surplus items in 1947. He drove the truckload back to Wenatchee and Stanley & Sons was established in a small lobby of an apartment building in South Wenatchee. Bob showed both his brothers how to open stores and persuaded both to follow in his footsteps. As many of Stan’s customers know Bob bought anything and everything that he felt was a “good deal” throughout the years. Therefore Bob ended up buying large quantities of items such as semi-truck loads of motor oil, car tires, car chains, and rubber overshoes, some of the items not even in new condition. Bob was a true entrepreneur and was always looking for the best deal! Bob even lived at the store until very late in his life which he felt helped him keep the business running successfully.
Towards the end of his life Bob wanted to ensure that the future of Stan’s was in good hands. Bob sold the store to his long time business associate Ethel Wright who had worked with Bob since 1958. Bob felt this was his best chance to keep his store running the way he wanted and without stripping the store of its identity. Bob also pledged to donate $1 million dollars to the new construction of the Wenatchee Civic and Performing Arts Center. He made partial payments on this pledge and upon his death Ethel Wright fulfilled the pledge obligation to ensure Bob’s legacy lived on in Wenatchee. The center’s name has been a somewhat controversial point since Bob’s death, but it’s for certain that Bob and Ethel’s contribution to the center made it a possibility for this Wenatchee gem to become a reality!
Ethel Wright – Ethel is the longtime associate of Bob Stanley, she and her husband Don purchased the business from him in 1996 upon Bob’s death. Ethel started working at Stan’s in 1958 as a shoe department associate. Ethel had a background of teaching in a rural one room Nebraska school house. Retail was new to her but she learned quickly. Over time she became Bob’s most trusted associate. She did numerous jobs throughout the store and would even run the store while Bob was on mission trips. Bob had full confidence in Ethel continuing to successfully run the store when he was gone. Ethel ran the business by herself for many years, she took what she had been taught by Bob and made Stan’s her own, always giving back to the community and keeping to the roots of the store. Today Ethel is currently semi-retired but still likes to check in at the store at least once a week. Over the past few years Ethel’s son Lynn has begun the process of becoming the next generation leader of Stan’s.
Lynn Wright – Lynn started working for Stan’s in 1970. While he had his own business for many years Lynn has worked at least part time for Stan’s since he was initially hired. He believes in the store being a true family business a “Mom and Pop” store that is locally owned and operated and a good community partner. Lynn works in the store alongside his two sons and provides some of the best customer service in town if you’re lucky enough to bump into him on the floor!