Discovery Outpost offers kids an expedition
MEDICINE PARK The cobblestone community's newest business will invite young visitors on a 19th century expedition with a farmed archaeologist.
Luke Barrett and wife Angela opened Discovery Outpost, 208 E. Lake, in February. It's the only store of its kind in Medicine Park to offer toys and books for children of all ages. But these aren't the newest action figures or handheld video games, but rather more classic offerings and education-focused books and games.
"We wanted to do something in the spirit of adventure and we wanted to offer experiences and products you couldn't find anywhere else," Barrett said.
The small cabin store is located at the top of East Lake Drive as you travel down into downtown Medicine Park. The interior has been converted into a turn-of-the-century cabin where a professor studying the lands of the Wichita Mountains would come back to each evening. It's filled with various science experiment kits, educational adventure toys and books for young readers. It feels like a shop one would find in a museum something Barrett wanted to focus on.
"We thought it would be great to have a museum gift shop without the museum," he said. "We noticed when we would go to these museums with our children, they always loved going to the gift shop. So why not bring that here?"
The family recently moved to Oklahoma after leaving Florida on an extended road trip. Barrett and his wife home-school their children, and a substantial part of that education was derived from visiting museums all over the country. They grew to love the idea of owning their own business and taking those inspirations from museum gift shops. When family invited them back to the Sooner state for the holidays, they discovered the cabin was available for rent in Medicine Park providing a great opportunity to start the business they'd dreamed of.
"Everything just sort of fell into place for us at the right time," Barrett said.
The Barretts have enjoyed immediate success with a great response from Medicine Park and the surrounding community. The idea of a toy store that features throwback items, science-inspired experiences and classic books has appealed to many customers. But the Barretts wanted to expand and just not offer toys but also offer experiences for children using the very same science kits that are available for sale.