Kanaranzi Creek prepares for its opening dayELLSWORTH — A former hardware store, built in 1891 and complete with decorative tin ceiling and upper wall tiles, serves as the perfect atmosphere for a new occasional store in the little hamlet of Ellsworth, in far southwest Nobles County.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
ELLSWORTH — A former hardware store, built in 1891 and complete with decorative tin ceiling and upper wall tiles, serves as the perfect atmosphere for a new occasional store in the little hamlet of Ellsworth, in far southwest Nobles County.
The shop, Kanaranzi Creek, is named in honor of the creek just outside of town where four generations of the Sherwood and the Reiter families grew up. Betty Sherwood and Barb Reiter, sisters-in-law, have a great fondness for the area, and have long dreamed of owning a store that would combine their love of the country and their love of decorating.
“When Barb and I were young mothers, we would visit on the phone about someday having a shop and doing our thing,” Sherwood said. “It was the farm, family, finances — it just never happened, but we still talked about it. We just never gave up.”
Last Christmas, when the Sherwood family gathered, Barb’s brother, Larry Sherwood, announced that he had purchased the former Calvin De Buhr Hardware Store in Ellsworth.
“I get this look from Barb,” Betty said with a laugh. “He didn’t know what he was going to do with it, so we thought we’d give this a try.”
Kanaranzi Creek now takes up the storefront, extending through about two-thirds of the building. Larry kept the back portion for his own little venture, Prints & Things, which will likely be open at the same times as Kanaranzi Creek.
The shop is called an occasional store because it is occasionally open. It will open for the second time later this week, for a three-day span.
By opening day, the store will be filled to the brim with a little something for everyone. Items range from the modern to the primitive, with antiques scattered throughout the shop as accents.
“We’re really not an antique store, we’re very eclectic,” Reiter said. Variety and affordability were some of the words used by shoppers during the first opening of Kanaranzi Creek.
As they gear up for their second opening, the women are anticipating another large collection of items, from antique buffets and a child’s vanity set, to unique furniture, home décor, a diva section with purses, jewelry and scarves, kitchen items and a section geared to the patriotic.
“We’ll have a lot of outdoor décor,” said Sherwood, adding that this sale will spill out onto the front sidewalk.
“We really need good weather, because we have a lot of things that won’t fit in here,” Reiter said.
With the occasional store, both Sherwood and Reiter strive to give the store a fresh, new look for each opening. The variety of merchandise they offer certainly helps to give the place a new look, but they also work off of each other’s ideas to display things in interesting ways.
“Not everyone’s going to have a mattress spring hanging on the wall, but it gives you the feel of an older home,” Sherwood said. “As much as we love it, it’s still a challenge to tie it all together.”
A few of the original items from the former hardware store were put to good use in Kanaranzi Creek, include two large display cases — one lining the back wall, and the other lining a portion of a side wall. There’s also the counter where the cash register sits, and the light hanging above the register, which actually was on the outside of the building at one time.
“We didn’t want to change the look of the store,” Reiter. said. “We wanted to keep it as-is, for the history and for our likings.”
As for the items available for sale, most come from Reiter and Sherwood — items they’ve picked up through life, thinking one day about that store they wanted to open. Many of the things they will have for sale are “repurposed” — whether it’s furniture that gets a new coat of paint and takes on a distressed look, or a screen door that doubles as a decoration along the wall of one’s home.
One particular item ready for this week’s sale is a repurposed church pew, which was shortened and made into a loveseat bench.
“Things have more than one purpose in life,” Sherwood said.
“In a little town, we’re kind of like the variety store,” added Reiter with a laugh.
Plans are to open Kanaranzi Creek about once every other month.
Kanaranzi Creek will be open this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with store hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For a little preview of items offered at this occasional sale, visit the store on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Kanaranzi-Creek.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.