“I can’t watch another Hallmark movie.”
Little did Rick Manson realize when he uttered those six little words that he was launching his next career move.
After retiring from forty years with Raley’s, he and his wife Barbara opened the Treasures from Paradise shop in 2001, an antiques and collectibles store located in the old Western Auto building on lower Skyway. When the fire destroyed the building and all their inventory, they found themselves sitting at their home in Chico with nothing to do.
A few too many cheesy movie lines and about four months of unfulfilling retirement later, they were ready to get back to work.
“I said to Rick: ‘Okay, let’s find another spot, another building, and try again,” said Barbara.
Preferring to keep the business in Paradise, they began to look for places to rent on the Ridge. Soon after, they received word the iconic little home kitty-corner from Walgreens on the corner of Skyway and Bille was available.
“We rented it the day we looked at it!” Barbara laughed.
With the help of several of their vendors, they painted, refreshed, and restocked the building with new wares and consignment items. “Everybody pitched in,” she recalled.
On April 1, just five months after the fire, Treasures from Paradise reopened in its new location at 969 Bille Road. Since then, the business has become not only a popular place for gifts and mementos but also a place of healing and hope.
The couple, keen business owners with a heart for community, follow a heartfelt motto: “Do what you love and love what you do.” They know the conversations over the cash register or a newly stocked candle are just as important as the inventory on the shelves.
“We’ve cried with our customers, laughed with our customers. It was like therapy for all of us. They needed to cry with somebody. And we cried along with the people. We are all still healing,” said Barbara.
Nearly all of the items available at Treasures from Paradise are from local artists, vendors, and consigners, many of them with Paradise, Ridge, Magalia, and other themes. Their famous carved bears, for example? “All carved from trees felled from the fire.”
Back in business now for two and a half years, the Manson family is thrilled to be a part of helping the Paradise economy recover. “This is a Godsend,” said Barbara. “It was meant for us to be here. We have been blessed and business has been wonderful.”
“Paradise is going to be bigger and better than before. The roads are going to be better, we’ll have underground utilities—all kinds of great improvements.”
For businesses and families considering Paradise as a place to call home, the Mansons recommend patience and respect. With processes in place to rent, build, and buy, things take time, but those two ingredients have been key to their own success.
She added: “But I’m most excited because a lot of people are coming home. They had to leave and they didn’t want to, and they’re getting to come home. The rest of it will come in time.”