Tye & Joan Steinbach
Owners since 1994
Locally owned since 1994...
Joan and Tye Steinbach started Thinker Toys back in the fall of 1994 in a 330 square foot space with a month-to-month lease arrangement and a handshake to back it up. (That initial trust foreshadowed a lifelong friendship, as we now count our former landlords among our best friends.) We've had three locations in "the Village" and now occupy what might be the largest single retail space in Multnomah. We also spent three years trying to run two stores concurrently, but in February of 2001 we closed the doors on our Westmoreland store, admitting that - at least in this case - one plus one was more than two times the work.
We both taught middle- and high-school science classes at Oregon Episcopal School between the mid-80's and mid 90's. (Yes, we actually started the store while still teaching - albeit half-time in Joan's case. But you have to realize in those early days customers were few and far between and the counter was a generous workspace on which to grade papers...) Our kids, ages two and five back then, now attend Wilson High School and the Clark Honors College at the U of O in Eugene. Time flies...
We try to be involved in our community. Between the two of us, we've coached kids basketball and chess, and both served as president of the Multnomah Village Business Association. We have been very involved for years in the effort that creates the annual wonder that is Multnomah Days. Hopefully we've been a supporter of your kid's school community - we do try to give to all of these events.
Our informed and friendly staff includes parents, teachers, musicians, honor students and other wonderful people who make Thinker Toys the great place it is. Together, we're all committed to being a vital part of the "weird but wonderful" community that is Multnomah Village.