Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum has been an ideal place for tourists to shop for locally made gifts.
Museum director Fern Bartel recalled when a car pulled up to the museum and a group of Australian tourists came out.
“They didn’t want to just go to Walmart to get gifts from their wives,” Bartel said. “They ended up buying a quilt and some other things from here.”
The museum’s Sip and Shop event Saturday let the public enter the museum for free and offered cherry and apple cider, church window cookies made with colored marshmallows, and cups of snack mix.
Select pieces from the museum gift shop were on display along with its year-round displays of taxidermy and Goessel history.
Main features included wreaths, bells, and small models of airplanes and animals made out of woven wheat stalks; historical biographies and fiction books from local authors; albums from local music groups, past and present; handmade hot pads; and jewelry done by Bartel. Peppernuts, used cookbooks, and postcards of museum features also were available.
“Why would I buy something from Taiwan to sell,” Bartel said, “when I can have local people’s work instead?”
The shop’s local items have helped Goessel residents.
“I had a man call me one day, asking if we had his grandmother’s peppernut recipe,” Bartel said.
The museum carries a cookbook with 10 different peppernut recipes. Bartel sold several copies of it to the man.
“He said he was going to try them all to find his grandma’s,” she said.