by Julie Ann Madden
Whether it’s antiques or good wholesome food one is looking for, it can be found at the Mercantile on the Beth and Ed Williams’ ranch at 5016 Buchanan Ave. in rural Hawarden.
Buchanan Avenue is actually County Road K-18 North in Sioux County. Therefore, the Williams’ Mercantile is located 1.75 miles north of County Road K-18’s intersection with County Road C-12. Just look for the signs.
The food is “chemical free, drug free,” said Beth, explaining they have fresh garden produce, farm fresh eggs and locally made pure honey.
Plus, she makes jellies and jams such as Strawberry Jalapeno and Strawberry Bacon jams and Root Beer Jelly and a plethora of pickles: dill, sweet, bread & butter and zesty jalapeno.
And that’s just the beginning of the list of goodies, which also include homemade salsa, pasta sauces, breads, cake pops, seasonal candies and pies. If you have a craving for old-fashioned candies like kids enjoyed from the 1930s to 1960s, then the Mercantile is a “Must Stop” place.
Soon, they will be offering fresh broiler chickens.
For antique collectors, they will feel like they’ve gone to heaven among the Williams’ Hoosier cabinets, stoves, dressers, old seed bags, pictures and trivets.
“Everything’s for sale,” said Ed.
And just like a true antique collector, Beth hesitated a few moments at the thought of letting go of some of her “unusual and hard-to-find” items, which include both Hawarden and Akron memorabilia. She has First National Bank, Akron Lumber Company, Akron Creamery and Farmers Coop items plus a Ruble Store coin purse and Ray and Mickey Jespersen checkbook cover and much, much more.
“I’m always going to a sale,” said Beth. “I just like stuff from the past. Some people think it’s junk but I just like it.”
Beth also creates plenty of country stitchery, candles and tarts for shoppers to choose. In addition, the Williams supply a variety of gift items, including blankets and throws and seasonal items.
A mercantile is a name for an old small town general store, and that’s just what the Williams have created.
“We’ve put a lot of thought and research into this venture,” said Beth, noting the business is closed Mondays but open the rest of the week, beginning each morning at 9 a.m.
“And til whenever,” said Beth. “We’re here.”
If not in the Mercantile, they are probably doing chores as they raise horses, cattle and chickens.
Just stop by or call them at 712-899-6018.