A new shop new and repurposed items made in Iowa will soon be opening in the former location of the Kalona Family Restaurant, just south of the Kalona General Store. Ribbon cutting will be Monday, April 1 at noon with the Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Best of Iowa shop owner Lori Whitoff said the store will feature a variety of items made in Iowa ranging from Iowa Wine, Iowa cheeses, Iowa bologna, repurposed furniture, Vintage items, home decor and many other items.

“We will have a small bakery featuring cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, cookie dough, Artesian breads, and some gluten free specialties,” Whitoff announced.

Inside the entry, customers will be greeted by a unique wall mural saying “Greetings from Kalona.  Each letter will feature a scene from various views of Kalona, including the Amish, Quilts, Hills Bank Clock Tower, Railroad Depot at the Historic Village, Bunker Mill Bridge and the Kalona Sales Barn.

Whitoff said she will have a number of vintage and unique items on display including a door archway made out of old books.

In the former dining room area, Whitoff is planning an area where community events such as receptions, entertainment or other community events can be held. It will be available to rent plus she is planning some events such as bingo and entertainment.

Whitoff attended Mid-Prairie schools through 8th grade and is a graduate of IMS and Iowa State University. She was formerly an associate with The Shop in Kalona and has been selling the items she has made or repurposed at various shows in Iowa and elsewhere in the Midwest.

Lori and her husband, Brandon, live north of Wellman with there three daughters: Melissa, 13; Annette, 12; and Ruth, 9, all students in the Mid-Prairie School district.

Whitoff said she is looking forward to getting the Best of Iowa Shop open and feels it will be another added attraction in Kalona.  “I feel Kalona is a great community in which to open my store so I won’t have to be away from home at shows across the Midwest so much,” she said.

Chamber Contributing Author: Ron Slechta