Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
OGDEN — Pawn shops don't always have the best reputation, but for The Gift House on 25th street in Ogden, it's a different story.
"We have a pretty big pawn shop. We are Ogden's oldest and friendliest pawn shop," The Gift House owner Scott Vanleeuwen said.
The Gift House has been serving the city of Ogden for almost 55 years. Vanleeuwen invites visitors of the pawn shop to sit down, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.
"You walk in and it's automatically comfy. There's so much to look at. It's just different. It's nice," said Vanisha Roybal, a local customer.
Customers, friends and family come to The Gift House often. They browse the store, socialize and check in with the day's events.
"It's kind of like a hub for people," The Gift House employee Dustin Vanleeuwen said. "There's a lot of friends who meet here. We socialize with a lot of people."
But aside from its dedicated friends and customers, the store, like most pawn shops, has a little bit of everything.
"Our business card says guns, gold, and diamonds. That pretty well says it all," Scott Vanleeuwen said.
The owner of the Gift House, Scott Vanleeuwen, has been working in this building since 1961, before it was a pawn shop.
"There's a million stories in here. There really is," Scott Vanleeuwen said.
But there's one story that stands out above all. One day Scott Vanleeuwen realized he owed the IRS $25,000. As Vanleeuwen was going to the bank, his good friend came into the shop, and plans changed.
"He said, how much do you owe? And I said, about $25,000," Scott Vanleeuwen said. "He said well before you go, I'll take those four guns, those five guns, those seven guns. I said what are you going to do? Spend $25,000? He says, well it's just before Christmas, do you want me to go somewhere else to shop? So he did. He pulled me out of the fire."
His friend ended up spending $25,000 that day, and saved Vanleeuwen and his business from some financial stress.