While back home in O'Brien County visiting my parents for Christmas, I spent some time in my hometown of Sheldon. Sheldon has a population of just over 5,000 and it is the largest community in the county.
The largest employer in Sheldon is Village Northwest Unlimited (VNU). According to their website, they provide residential, vocational, and therapeutic services for individuals age 17 and over with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as traumatic brain injuries and autism spectrum disorder. In my opinion, what they provide for these residents is nothing short of amazing. In fact, I could argue that they are the premier human services provider in the state.
There are a lot of moving parts with VNU, and two of those happen to be Fantasia and the Village Treasure Chest. Both of these businesses are on Highway 18 (Park Avenue) on the east side of Sheldon and they are only a couple of short blocks apart.
Village Treasure Chest
Village Treasure Chest is a thrift store that is staffed by volunteers with all of the proceeds going to help the residents of Village Northwest Unlimited. It continues to be one of the best thrift stores I've ever been in and there is always a great selection of clothes for all ages, shoes, hand bags, household goods, home decor, and much, much more.
Sheldon is home to the Orabs (acronym of: Orange and Black) and so you can stop in before a home basketball game and look the part! The high school boys basketball team is having an impressive season thus far.
Sometimes, they get donations from the community that are deemed to be of greater value and they are placed in a case and priced accordingly. However, nearly everything in the store is still priced to sell. You can find some tremendous deals.
In addition to the clothes, shoes, and hand bags, they also have accessories for sale such as jewelry.
Like many thrift stores, including Goodwill, there are always non-clothing items for sale.
My family has certainly donated a lot of items here over the years, but I have also found some bargains as well. The volunteer staff at Village Treasure Chest are some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and do a great job representing this tremendous organization.
If you are in Sheldon, stopping at Village Treasure Chest should definitely be part of your adventure. Check out their Facebook page.
If you are really into thrifting, I would encourage you to follow the "Dressed on a Dime" site.
Whether you like coffee or ice cream (and really, who doesn't?), Fantasia makes a great stop before or after a visit to the Village Treasure Chest.
Sheldon has a McDonalds and several convenience stores that sell coffee, but if you are looking for a place that sells both coffee and a full array of hot and cold specialty coffee beverages similar to what you might find at a Starbucks, Fantasia is the place to go in Sheldon.
It's great place to have coffee, enjoy ice cream, find some free wi-fi, and also browse a nice selection of gifts and kitchen accessories.
The coffee bar area has ample seating and is a good place to meet up with friends or family. They also sell their own coffee beans that can be brewed at home.
The gift store area is full of interesting and fun decor and there is also a room that has a wide selection of kitchen supplies.
Check out Fantasia's Facebook page and add it to your list next time you are in Northwest Iowa! It's always a "must visit" for me when I'm back visiting my parents and I almost always run into at least one person that I know.
If you have suggestions for other places I should profile in O'Brien County or elsewhere in our great state, please drop me a note through my website.