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Best Wishes: Everything You Could Wish For

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Julie Van Noate has a gleam in her eye as she describes how excited she is about all the goodies on their way to her store, Best Wishes, in Stockton’s Lincoln Center. Just back from ordering new inventory at the gift show in Las Vegas, she is busy doing what she does throughout the year, bringing surprise and delight to her customers, some of whom have frequented her store for nearly 50 years. To be clear, Julie was not running Best Wishes as a five-year-old, but she was brought up in the business since she was so small that she honestly can’t recall precisely when she formally took over.

For over 30 years, Julie has made it her mission to keep the store fresh and exciting for the five generations of customers, many of whom have become friends. “Pulling everything together so the store is always a new experience is a challenge but a very satisfying one,” she affirmed. The greatest pleasure of all, she added, is seeing people run into old friends at her store and catch up, sometimes for hours, strolling as they shop and visit. “It’s pretty magical,” she said with a smile.

New Ideas
Part of making the store, in Julie’s words, “a special experience for each visitor,” is the art of creating themed displays throughout the space. The wide selection of high-quality inventory is the result of Julie’s trained eye and careful curating. She credits her longtime staff with not just helping customers find the perfect item but making them feel like family. Whether it’s the holidays and the store is decked to the rafters with Christmas decorations, or really any season, Julie reported, “We are very lucky that such wonderful people have chosen to spend their time working with us!

Our staff are always here to welcome and assist everyone and to provide our free gift-wrapping service. People just like to come in to feel part of it all.”

The store’s diverse selection ranges from home to hearth, with treasures for grandparents, grandbabies and everyone in between. There are bar items, small kitchen appliances, gourmet foods, greeting cards and gadgets galore. There are beautiful soaps, lotions, hostess gifts, pet-themed gifts, sparkling jewelry, fine candles, cookbooks, serving ware, charcuterie boards and more. So much more.

Fashion Added
Amid purses, ponchos and pashminas, Julie took a leap about five years ago and added clothing to her inventory. “It was always a dream of mine to coordinate fashion with accessories for the home and display everything in a complementary way,” she reported. Julie’s chic fashion selection has a casually elegant vibe and just may be the softest, most cuddly clothing around. That applies to the fun bachelorette- and bridal-themed items as well. Cozy slippers, sweatshirts, jammies, customized wine glasses and party favors are always a hit with brides-to-be and their wedding parties. As with all the fashion items, there are exciting new selections every season.

From darling doormats and dishtowels to colorful flags and garden accessories, the store is a shopper’s delight in every way. “It’s kind of a one-stop shopping opportunity with something for everyone and every occasion. It’s really a lot of fun,” Julie summed it up.

Visit Best Wishes at 325 Lincoln Center, Stockton, California, or call 209-478-3220.