News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Mountain High Grocery and Gifts under new ownership

Reporter for The Canyon Weekly

On Jan. 4, Dean O’Donnell and his wife, Linda, signed the papers that would catapult them both into retirement.
“It is with a heavy but thankful heart that I announce that the O’Donnell family has sold Mountain High Grocery and Gifts,” O’Donnell wrote in a press release publicizing the sale of the store his family has owned and managed seven days a week for the last 15 years.
“That’s one of the reasons I sold,” O’Donnell acknowledged. “I’m ready to have some fun in my life.”
But that’s not the only reason. Having survived the Labor Day Fires in 2020, which ravaged much of the Santiam Canyon, including the O’Donnells’ own residence, the couple began to reevaluate how they wanted to spend the coming years.
“My son was helping me run the store for the last five years and after the fire he said, ‘I’m out,’” O’Donnell recalled. “He said, ‘I think you should sell.’ But I hadn’t even thought about it at that point. Then, the more I thought about it, the more sense it made.”
The time just seemed to be right.
“We look forward to building new memories at the lake with a focus on spending time with our family and friends around campfires, on boats, hiking trails, catching salamanders and pouring our hearts into making the Detroit community strong and better than ever,” O’Donnell wrote.
Because, as O’Donnell said in an interview with Our Town, “We’re not going anywhere.”
The decision to sell was also helped by the discovery of entrepreneurial sisters Ann Soentpiet and Al Lan Chung who, along with their husbands, Sean Chung and Phillip Park, are the owners of numerous businesses throughout the Santiam Canyon and Marion County.
“They bring with them keen business sense, amazing culinary talents and they are just down-right good humans,” O’Donnell wrote. “We strongly believe that they will be an incredible asset to the Detroit community.”
They also plan to keep Mountain High Grocery and Gifts, a one-of-a-kind mercantile “selling everything from hard liquor to fishing poles,” largely unchanged.
“Please pop in and introduce yourselves to them and welcome them to town,” O’Donnell suggested.

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