This Delightful General Store In Iowa Will Have You Longing For The Past
Ready to step into the past? This Amish general store in Iowa has enough charm to go around.
Stringtown Grocery is located at 2208 540th Street SW four miles north of Kalona.
It is situated in the heart of beautiful rural Eastern Iowa just a few miles south and east of Iowa City off of Highway 218.
There are several Amish communities in Iowa, and many Amish and Mennonite families reside in the Kalona area.
Stringtown Grocery is a modern building with a long history and Mennonite roots.
This place is really a blast from the past. During the times of the year when it's dark outside during their business hours, the store is lit with oil lamps.
They moved into a new, larger location in 2013.
With expanded produce areas, more shelf space, and a larger parking lot, Stringtown Grocery can now accommodate the visitors that come from hundreds of miles away for a taste of the past.
Horse-drawn buggies are a common sight in the area around Kalona.
The Kalona area is the largest Amish and Mennonite settlement west of the Mississippi River.
Inside Stringtown Grocery, shelves are packed tightly with every kind of homemade jelly and jam known to mankind, it seems.
Bulk items are plentiful, as are various types of cheese, milk, and meat.
Baking supplies are packaged and sold in bulk.
They stock every kind of natural sweetener, flour, and baking ingredient. If you need 50 pounds of cane sugar, you can get it here for a lot less than the price at your local grocery store.
The candy aisle is pretty irresistible. If there's a favorite homemade treat from your childhood that you just can't find anymore, you may see it here.
All of the products at Stringtown Grocery are labeled as bulk items. Shoppers love the price break they get here.
For people who love to cook, this is paradise. Fresh, locally grown produce is available seasonally. The prices are more than reasonable, and the product is the best Iowa has to offer. Bins overflow with whatever fruits and vegetables are growing in Iowa gardens at any given time.
Stringtown Grocery is a home gardener's delight. A giant outdoor display of hanging plants, vegetable starts, and seeds is common here in the spring and early summer.
Their plant displays are inspirational. If prettying up your outdoor areas is your hobby, this place is worth the trip.
There are a few important things to note about this old-fashioned general store.
Visitors are as welcome as locals, and according to the Yelp, Facebook, and Google reviews, they are treated with grace and kindness. Stringtown Grocery is a cash-only store, so please be prepared to shop with cash in your wallet.
Their newly expanded hours are great for people who love to shop at this bulk-food mecca.
If you were planning to swing by on your Sunday drive, you'll be disappointed. Be prepared to deal with a crowd on Saturdays, when people come from Iowa City and the surrounding areas to stock up. Most importantly, don't leave the store without buying yourself a treat. The Kalona Bar is a handmade ice cream bar available at the counter for just $1.50.
Ready to visit? Here are the details, again:
2208 540th Street SW
Monday through Friday 8am – 5pm
Saturday 8am – 4pm
Are there any other general stores in Iowa that are a total throwback to days gone by? Let us know all about it in the comments.
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