Beyond Lights & Beyond

After 14 years of running a downtown business, Jim and Ade Miller are moving on to spend more time with their family

By Peterson

Cowboys, pirates, spin-the-wheel, pop-the-balloon, card games. What might sound like a birthday party for a 5-year-old, is par for the course for Jim and Ade Miller at Lights & Beyond.
Part Mike and Carol Brady, part Rob and Laura Petrie, the Millers certainly can never been accused of being blasé and bland. For the free-spirited popular duo that spontaneously sings “Happy Birthday” to their customers, the serious side of owning a business has always been soaked with a whimsical, even child-like outlook that made running a retail store fun. And that will likely be what their customers miss the most when they leave for Fargo, N.D.
Effective Dec. 23, Jim and Ade’s Lights & Beyond, as its current customers know it, will close; the Millers will have “retirement sale” later this year.
The quintessential mom-and-pop store owners who remember just about everyone who has darkened their downtown doorstep hope the successful business will carry on as is, but replicating what they have done in downtown Tracy might be next to impossible.
“We’ve always done different promotions and tried to make it fun for our customers,” said Ade. “We felt that we were always creative enough to make it fun for the customer.”
“We wanted to make it a shopping experience,” Jim added. “We always say we’re a ‘store like no other,’ and we’ve tried to make it a pleasurable shopping experience — more personal for the customers.”
The decision to step away from the business is based purely on family. The Millers plan on buying a home in Fargo to be closer to their 5-year-old grandson, Jackson, and his parents, Molly and Richard Olson.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.