Bargains line shelves at Dollars R Us store

Customers who step inside Dollars R Us, Bonney Lake’s only dollar store, are reaping more than bargains from their shopping lists. They’re also getting service that’s friendly and personal, said co-owners Ramon Sanchez and Miguel Marquez.

Kasey Bittner readies the shelves with new merchandise at Dollars R Us in Bonney Lake.

Friendly staff awaits shoppers at city’s only dollar store

Customers who step inside Dollars R Us, Bonney Lake’s only dollar store, are reaping more than bargains from their shopping lists. They’re also getting service that’s friendly and personal, said co-owners Ramon Sanchez and Miguel Marquez.

“There’s a concept we’re bringing to everyone who comes in here: our employees look up and say ‘hello,’” Marquez said.

That standard of service is the underlying foundation for the brothers-in-law partners, who greeted 5,000 customers in the first three weeks since their Dec. 8 opening. Add in congeniality and personal attention and it’s easy to see why both men believe their store offers more bang for their customers’ buck.

“People walk into some stores where the employees don’t acknowledge them,” Marquez said. “But in here, we look them in the eyes. We walk them over to the item they’re looking for. We’ll also bring them a shopping basket and say ‘thank you.’”

The concept for going into business together began four years ago, Marquez said. “Many times, we sat down and thought of ideas.” Those ideas strengthened when the men studied demographics and learned through marketing surveys that Bonney Lake lacked a dollar store.

“The closest one is 10 miles away and it doesn’t sell items at only a dollar,” Sanchez said.

With his strong retail background and Marquez’ organizational skills – he’s a former East Coast homicide detective – the two hit upon the dollar store idea in February 2007. They settled on a store located adjacent to Bonney Lake Grocery Outlet and alongside the heavy traffic of state Route 410.

While some businesses have suffered deep economic losses over the past year, both Sanchez and Marquez believed their store’s arrival comes at an opportune time as households tighten spending and grow more aware of bargains.

With a staff of 12, Sanchez and Marquez said they are proud of the work each employee makes to keep the aisles clutter-free and the floors clean for their shoppers. Employees are trained to greet customers curteously, such as in a family setting.

“We are a family business and we want to extend that concept to our customers,” Marquez said. “Everyone is to be properly greeted. I understand that we all have bad days, but everyone deserves to be treated with respect.”

The store carries a large variety of goods priced at a dollar: from toys to housewares and items for infants and children. One special section includes a large selection of night lights, with some featuring sports themes and dolphins. In the utensils section, serving platters with seashell and ocean themes lie waiting for summer barbecues, while another aisle carries office supply products. Other sections feature themes for baby showers and birthday parties.

Offering a wide selection of merchandise – all at a dollar each – comes with a bonus. “I want them to have the ‘wow’ factor when they come in here,” Sanchez said. “We want to be unique. The only way to compete is with our customer service, our cleanliness and offering a variety of good-looking, quality merchandise.”

Both co-owners said they are happy to open their business and have taken it to heart.

“I left everything I knew to invest in this,” Sanchez said.

“(Owning) this store means my three children will have a future,” Marquez said.

Dollars R Us is at 18318 state Route 410 in Bonney Lake. Its hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The store can be reached at 253-862-2322.

Reach Judy Halone at jhalone@courierherald.com or 360-802-8210.

More in Life

Library’s art and writing contest returns to Pierce County | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County teens are encouraged to express themselves through writing, painting, drawing and more for the annual Our Own Expressions competition, hosted by the Pierce County Library System.

‘School of Awake’ offers advice to adolescent girls

Twinkle, twinkle. For as long as you can remember, you’ve known how… Continue reading

Mental health first aid training in Enumclaw | The Summit

Friday, January 19 at 7 p.m., Dr. Michelle Bengtson will kick off the mental health-themed weekend by speaking on Hope for Depression: The World’s Greatest Epidemic. Dr. Bengtson is the author of the award winning “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression.”

Print 3-D creations at Pierce County Library System

Bring a ready-to-print file and watch the magic of 3-D printing bring the file to life at Pierce County Library System’s 3-D Print Shop. The free print shop sessions are offered January through March at Pierce County Libraries, giving people the opportunity to use the 3-D printers to create items, get quick design lessons, and learn the 3-D printing process.

The past is the past, a review of ‘Robicheaux’

You don’t want to talk about it. You’ve been through rough times,… Continue reading

What would MLK do? A review on ‘Dear Martin’

What if your entire future was mapped out for you? All you’d… Continue reading

Santa Patrol ready to roll in Enumclaw, Buckley

With the holiday season in full swing, fire departments are preparing for their annual Santa Patrols that spread cheer throughout Enumclaw and Buckley.

Blaine Larsen returns home for Dec. 2 concert

Blaine Larsen doesn’t perform much these days, instead spending his waking hours pursuing a higher calling.

Get your fill of winter activities on Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier’s landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation in winter.

Enumclaw, Buckley busy during the holidays

What’s going on during the holiday season on the Plateau? Here’s a list of activities you and your family may enjoy!

Bonney Lake, Sumner gear up for holiday festivities

Plateau holiday festivities are right around the corner.

Giving Trees help kids with Christmas

Nexus Youth And Families Enumclaw is asking local residents to help a child in need this Christmas by participating in the organization’s Giving Tree program.