Sarah and Donn Kreofsky, two creative teachers, founded LARK Toys in 1983, when they crafted wooden toys for their sons and began to sell them at art fairs. People liked their toys so much that they began to manufacture them in earnest. Eventually they sold to 2,500 stores nationwide. A small retail store was opened in the factory, at popular request, and the response was so enthusiastic that the Kreofskys decided to focus their efforts on retail. Families, tour and school groups discovered this interesting destination, and it expanded. High quality toys and gifts were added, along with great children’s books and tin toys. A toy museum was begun with the owners’ favorites and toys donated and purchased.
In 1988, Donn began to design a carousel, “the largest toy I could make,” he says. Over a period of nine years, Tim Monson (LARK’s head toymaker) blocked-up the wood; Bill Stark (a local artisan) carved the animals; and LARK artist Mary Eversman hand-stained them. Many visitors had the opportunity to watch the carousel in process. Finally, in 1997, it was ready to begin delighting riders from around the world.
The scenic 18-hole miniature golf course was added a few years later, offering outdoor recreational fun. Sarah, a gifted and passionate gardener, landscaped the course and the LARK property with exquisite flowers and plants.
In January of 2008, Donn and Sarah sold the business to a new family and retired, having created a legacy: a unique, enduring place for families to get away, relax, and refresh.