The “History Room” of Allen Realtors’ office in Lakewood is stocked with mementos and reminders of the company’s deep roots in the South Sound.
There’s the black-and-white photo of its original location in Downtown Tacoma, where Harold Allen Sr., established the company on Oct. 1, 1940 under the banner of “Allen’s Finer Homes.” In another picture – the small Lakewood branch the company opened eight years later. Patterned among the pictures are recognitions from groups like the Washington Association of Realtors, “thank you” letters and other reminders that Allen Realtors has been in Lakewood since shortly after the end of World War II.
One face sticks out more than others in the company’s historical exhibit – that of Harold Allen Jr. After attending Stanford University, enlisting in the Navy and serving in the war, Allen Jr., joined the company in 1946 and took over management duties three years later. It was Allen Jr., who recognized the future of Lakewood and suburban Tacoma.
“Harold Allen Jr., was the face of the company for seven different decades,” explains President/Designated Broker Mike Larson, who’s also Allen Jr.’s son-in-law.
What exactly happened? Allen Realtors became one of the most successful and longest-running realty companies in the South Sound. On Oct. 1, 2015, Allen Realtors will celebrate its 75th anniversary. It has created a legacy built on its strong relationships – both with customers and the company’s employees who cater to them.
It also the reason the City of Lakewood is proud to recognize Allen Realtors – a Lakewood institution as much as its distinctive red and white signs – as the City’s Business Showcase.
Lakewood Hardware & Paint
Lakewood Hardware and Paint has been part of Lakewood for more than 65 years, ever since Russell Fry opened the first store on Gravelly Lake Drive. The building the community frequents today is actually the store’s third incarnation.
The father of the current owner, Donn Tyler, bought Lakewood Hardware and Paint from Fry in the 1950s and later moved to a building more than twice its size on 105th Street and Bridgeport Way. In 1983, five years after purchasing his father’s share of the company, Tyler moved to its existing 12,000-square-foot spot on Lakewood Drive.
Over the years, Lakewood Hardware and Paint has continued to expand and grow. The original store sold hardware, paint and a few plumbing tools. These days, Lakewood Hardware and Paint’s selection includes home appliances, STIHL power tools, home and garden, plumbing, electricity and lumber. It even sells doors. And if customers can’t find what they need, the store will order whatever they request—and keep a stock of it in the future.
MACNAK Construction LLC
The Lakewood office of MACNAK Construction provides a glimpse into owner Terence “TD” King’s tenure as a pilot and flight instructor with the U.S. Navy, as well as the incredible team of employees with which he has been able to stock his business.
On the veteran’s back wall is a framed picture of a VF-32 F-14B Tomcat aircraft flying over Iraq, the photograph bordered by signatures of his squadron mates. Below that is another framed image, this one of the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier. He knows the U.S. aircraft carrier well, as he took off and landed his fighter jets on the Truman during numerous missions between 2001-2004 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
King, 41, learned plenty during his military flying days, which included lecturing fighter squadrons from Japan to the East Coast as the Navy’s threat missile Subject Matter Expert and flying as an Adversary Instructor pilot in support of SFARP, Airwing, TOPGUN and FRS fighter classes from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Boo Han Market
These days, Boo Han Market’s aisles are lined with authentic Asian foods and goods.
From soft tofu to spicy kimchee to cuts of beef and fresh seafood, the specialty grocery store’s selection has attracted shoppers from throughout the South Sound and beyond for nearly four decades. After years of expanding and adapting to meet the needs of customers, Boo Han Market continues to thrive in Lakewood’s International District – a remarkable feat given its humble beginnings as a rice cake and tofu factory in owner Boo Han’s garage.
The market’s story begins with Han, whose father ran a grocery store in Korea. The younger Han emigrated from Korea to the U.S. with his family in 1973 and bought a 400-square-foot home in Lakewood near his sister-in-law’s. He and his wife worked for five years and saved up enough money to start a rice cake and tofu factory in their garage—a garage that Boo Han himself built. The family devoted countless hours of work to their dream. Jae Han, Boo Han’s son, says his father slept about three hours a night during the early years.
Original House of Donuts
The Original House of Donuts continues to do what it has done for decades: Make the best donuts in the world.
And where are the best donuts in the world made? Why, right here in Lakewood, at the same spot where generations of locals have trekked for sweet, sugary goodness.
In 1959, the Original House of Donuts (OHOD) started with a secret recipe guarded heavily by owners, Bob and Marilyn Cheatham. When Bob passed away in 2003, Marilyn carried on with the tradition. As time passed, and through a number of managers and staff, things took a donut downhill, and the products and property slipped. Then, in late 2012, Mrs. Cheatham decided it was time to pass the torch.
Enter longtime donut-lover Tom Peterson. This Lakewood native, who moved out of state for a bit but returned and was looking for an opportunity, purchased the business, property and neighboring parcel in December 2012. A local with big dreams, Tom was looking for a new challenge, a way to make a difference for the community.