Kean’s Store Company is Mason’soldest continuously operating family business.
Owner Teresa Wren has lived in Mason her whole life and said her grandfather opened the store 89 years ago.
She said she is confident that the business will stay in the family for years. “My 21-year-old daughter will most likely take over the business after me,” Wren stated.
Kean’s attracts crowds from all over the state. Wren appreciates the flow of business from their competitive, yet quaint location.
“We get people from Grand Rapids, Detroit, Jackson, Midland. We’re right in the center of everything,” she said.
The friendly atmosphere can create lifelong customers who get attached to the store.
“A lot of people like to take ownership of the store because they feel so strongly about it,” said Laurie Reed, an employee of the Hallmark and Vera Bradley department of the store for more than 15 years. “We’ve had people put their personal opinions into the store when we were changing things, whether we wanted it or not. We have definitely had some doozies.”
Kean’s opened in 1928 as a small dry goods and penny candy store. As the years went by, the store expanded and thrived.
“Originally it was just the front door and main strip,” Wren saidd. “The store started small and then grew over the years as my grandfather kept buying out the surrounding businesses and then just opened up the walls.”
Today, the business is no penny candy store. Kean’s Store Company sells crafts, clothing, toys, fabrics, gifts, jewelry and candy.
“The candy case is the number one spot in the store,” Wren said. “Probably one of the only bulk candy cases you’re going to find in the state of Michigan left. This is the original.”
Reed said that the store isn’t historical as much as it is modern and trendy, but even she can’t deny the significance of Kean’s tasty treats.
“The candy counter is original to the store when it first opened. We carry a lot of the old-fashioned favorites too,” Reed said.
“Our double-dipped peanuts are the best,” said Carol Brooks, an employee of Kean’s Store Company for 11 years.
“It’s the employees, they’re so caring,” Brooks said as she helped the next customer in line.