THREE OAKS — The Alapash New Home store was already full of shoppers by the time the ceremonial grand-opening ribbon was cut in downtown Three Oaks.

“It was pretty wild to see all these people coming in. I didn’t expect so many people at once,” said Alapash owner Marco Chavarry.

Those making their first visit to the 2,500-square-foot retail space at 14 N. Elm St. were greeted with a bright, colorful and spacious place to explore.

“I grew up in Peru, where the homes are humble but colorful, fun and welcoming. I always wanted my store to feel like that,” Chavarry said.

He said the remodeling project included knocking down a lot of walls, sanding a lot of glue off the floors, and getting everything re-painted and rebuilt.

Chavarry said he thinks of Alapash New Home (both the new Three Oaks location and the original one founded eight years ago at 4835 N. Damen Ave. in Chicago) as “a gift shop in housewares and home decor all combined.”

“It is a very eclectic shop. I always tell people you can find a little bar of soap for $5 or a lamp for $300, or an original artwork – there’s a little bit for everyone.”

Chavarry said the inventory includes rugs, pottery and ceramics, furniture (something the Chicago store doesn’t carry), pillows, plants (terrariums, long a specialty in Chicago, are expected to arrive in Three Oaks in a few weeks), works of art and more.

He said most of the textiles offered at Alapash – including blankets from Bangladesh, Turkey and Morocco and Alpaca throws from Peru – are sourced internationally.

Chavarry said candles created by Gerri and Curt from Nicolet Candle have been especially popular in the Chicago Alapash.

“They were the first people I connected with when I opened my first shop eight years ago,” Chavarry said. “We love not only their work, but also their commitment to the environment. All of our candles are 100 percent soy wax and we recycle our containers. Our wicks are organic cotton.”

Alapash New Home in Three Oaks will be open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more, go to

“I think everybody’s having a good time,” Chavarry said as the Three Oaks Alapash remained full long after that ribbon had been cut.