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Buying Local Week 3

In Week 3 of my shopping adventures, I traveled to the northwestern portions of Wabaunsee County. I tell you, the hospitality never goes away! At every place I visit, these merchants are opening their doors wide for local traffic.

Karaline Mayer

Bluestem Breezes

November 19, 2011


Buying Local


In Week 3 of my shopping adventures, I traveled to the northwestern portions of Wabaunsee County. I tell you, the hospitality never goes away! At every place I visit, these merchants are opening their doors wide for local traffic.


As a quick recap of our purpose here, the Wabaunsee County Economic Development Council is challenging residents to purchase Christmas gifts (one or more!) locally. Hence, the recurring column title “Buying Local”.


While there are many types of presents you are not able to purchase from local merchants, there is a vast variety of gifts you may not even know exist here.


Each week, I’ll highlight a few local merchants to hopefully give you more shopping ideas (and save a few miles of that expensive gasoline). And, if you’re a local merchant and would like to be included, please contact me.


Please give me a brief moment here to clarify a few statements made in the past two weeks’ columns.


Rest assured that I love Christmas; I just choose not to decorate or listen to music until after giving respect to the Thanksgiving holiday. Kudos, though, to my dear friends who chose to text me Christmas carol lyrics and hang Christmas wreaths on my vehicle. I do hope my position is now clarified.


And, if you read last week’s column, my ceramic set of ranch-hands is complete! I am so thankful to the 4-Her who brought my “local”, handcrafted cowboy to join his cowgirl companion. I invite you to visit our office for an excellent example of the crafts available in our county!


My first stop this week was to Grandma Hoerner’s, located just north of I-70 on Wabaunsee Road. This place is buzzing with traffic, all stopping to take in their wonderful gift shop. With over sixty products made in-house and 1,500 products from around the world, I wonder who couldn’t find a gift there?


Grandma Hoerner’s prides themself on providing 100% natural products. Many are organic and diabetic-friendly. I also found it nice to hear Judy and Regina explain the importance of their many USA suppliers.


Their product selection is huge! I found applesauce, jellies, pasta, BBQ sauces and rubs, candles, coffees, Christian themed signs, pie filling, and even gift baskets. Although their business is ever growing, you still feel their neighborly hospitality the minute you walk in the door.


Driving down the road just a few miles, we stopped in to visit Larry at Plumlee Buffalo Ranch.


What an experience! I am not going to lie. I did feel a sense of anxiety come over me when he offered to drive us out into a pen with buffalo only inches away from us. You see, I grew up one mile from a buffalo pasture. On runs around the section, we always ran just a little faster past that pasture.


However, these are not the same buffalo. I had a wonderful time with the very calm and subdued animals. And, Larry was gracious enough to answer every one of my buffalo-raising questions. I encourage you to offer a buffalo tour to your loved one this holiday season. When it warms up a bit, Larry will take you through the herd as well.


To change up your food menu this season, try some of his home raised buffalo meat. He has quite the selection to offer, whether through a nearby grocery store or his ranch. There are steaks, brats, and ground meat to try. The meat is very lean and Larry will offer advice on cooking strategies to make the most of your meal.


Our final stop was to Homestead Cabinetry on K-99 north of I-70.


Now, I know that custom cabinets may not be your normal holiday present. But, I quizzed the guys and they are talented! They can make end tables, bedroom sets, wine cabinets, dining room tables, coffee tables, and more.


What I found so intriguing is their ability to match your current furniture in stain and appearance. They also offer installation services for their wood products.


Homestead Cabinetry is such a prime example of so many of the services offered here locally. They are committed to making a quality product, the way you request it, in a timely fashion, AND they stand behind their products.


Next week, we are heading to Harveyville seeking out gifts from southeastern Wabaunsee County. Our scouting team consists of Bud Hund (Paxico), Ed Howe (Eskridge), and this column’s writer. We look forward to hearing your comments, shopping suggestions, and sharing a taste of Wabaunsee County with you each week.


Businesses and brand names appearing in this publication are for product identification purposes only. No endorsement is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned. For more Wabaunsee County information, visit the Extension Office (215 Kansas, Courthouse, Alma;; 765-3821) or the Economic Development Office (3rd & Missouri, Alma;; 765-4655). For Bluestem Breezes archives, check out




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