BY ANN FOSTER THELEN
It’s time to start this year’s holiday shopping, and it’s easy to be merry when you surprise a loved one with a special gift.
During the holiday season, shopping local is a festive way to support your friends and neighbors who are also business owners. Many of these small businesses are served by Iowa’s electric cooperatives and share a common mission – being committed to the communities they serve.
To help your holiday gift-giving or list-making, we’ve combined a list of electric cooperative-served businesses that offer unique gifts to place under the Christmas tree or in a stocking. As you embark on Santa Claus duties this year, keep in mind that this list is just a sampling of local businesses. Take a walk along your community’s Main Street or explore all that your local area offers for additional inspiration to shop local this holiday season!
300 Acres is a local and veteran-owned business in Ocheyedan (located on Business Corner near May City). They focus on supplying the highest-quality products, which include LED lights, shovels, coffee, coolers, custom decals, signs and much more.
Advantage Apparel is a local small town, family-owned, one-stop apparel shop in Albia. They pride themselves on quick turnarounds, with quality service guaranteed on business, school and sports logos, stadium chairs, uniforms, sportswear and other items.
The shop offers arrangements for every special occasion. It also has green plants, silk flowers and small gift items such as candles, soaps and journals. Orders can be delivered throughout Albia and surrounding communities within a 20-minute radius.
Bouillon Flower & Garden in Greene is a one-stop-shop for flower-related needs. They boast an impressive selection of flowers and arrangements for everyone’s taste! From home décor options to bouquets for special occasions – there’s always a reason to invest in a beautiful arrangement.
Britches ‘N’ Bows Country Store & Boutique
Gift and décor shop in Panora offering modern farmhouse décor, boutique-style clothing and trendy accessories.
A trending shop filled with farmhouse vibes, traditional and seasonal home décor, apparel, and vintage and repurposed finds. The business features a mobile trailer, which offers pop-up shopping around rural Iowa. Corncrib Designs strives to inspire patrons to transform your home into a place you love.
This unique quilt shop is located just south of the beautiful Yellow River outside of Postville on the family’s Century Farm. They carry material, quilt kits, quilts for sale and host events.
For more than 100 years, the Severson family has been farming in Clarion and calling Grand View Farm and Ranch home. Now, people across the nation can enjoy their products. Send or receive a box of this family-raised, 100% grass-fed beef. The meat is shipped on Monday in a compostable cooler with dry ice and arrives within two days.
J&J Candles is a family-owned business that has been offering handcrafted, scented products for more than 25 years. They feature nearly 200 scents. In addition to individual sales, they offer wholesale pricing with minimum orders and do fundraisers. All the scented products are made at its facility south of Manson.
Molly’s in Audubon is an old barn turned retail store with home décor, clothing and more!
Located on the southern hills of Guttenberg sideways the Great River Road, this winery offers a full experience of tasty wines, food, six boutiques for shopping and beautiful views!
A family-owned and operated business in Traer offering top-notch out-of-doors equipment and accessories, including Green Mountain Grills.
The Red Shed
Hwy. 63, Bloomfield
The Red Shed has a wide variety of gifts, handmade chocolate and Amish-made items.
Rhonda's Country Retreat
Rhonda’s Country Retreat was founded in October 2020. This home-based specialty shop offers Iowa-made home décor, jewelry, soy candles, Iowa wines and more. All available products can be purchased at her farm store or online.
Operating via an Etsy shop, Shelbie Ehlers makes custom clothing, including holiday and everyday items.
Sweet Honeymoon Winery is a craft winery in Calhoun County making quality wines (including dry wines) in small batches from imported grape juice from all around the world. Because of this approach, the business offers varietals not normally available to wineries in our northern climate. They also make an award-winning Mead (honey wine).
To find more local businesses in your area, check with your local chamber of commerce or electric cooperative. Happy shopping!
Ann Foster Thelen is the editor of Iowa Electric Cooperative Living magazine.