By Christa Miller ’20
Pella has an amazing downtown area just three blocks from campus that’s home to numerous shops, boutiques and experiences. Five of these shops and boutiques are lined up on Franklin, one of the streets that form the town square. Heading downtown to shop, or even just to browse, is a great way to get in a walk and interact with the Pella community. Here are my picks, along with a bit about each location. Feel free to discover your favorites too. You never know what you might find.
627 Franklin St.
This nonprofit run by volunteers (including many Central students) offers merchandise made by artisans in developing countries. You might find the perfect gift among its unique range of wares—and you’ll be helping support an artisan. From carved statues to hand-woven baskets, each item is expertly crafted and has a specific heritage. So, look around. You may discover a passion you never knew you had.
713 Franklin St.
Inside you will find many different items, from old Reader’s Digest magazines (my favorite) to floral home decor. With its uncovered rafters and brick wall, this shop feels rustically charming. Its delightful labyrinth of expertly laid out displays draws you from kitchenware to a game room to a children’s bedroom. Each display offers something distinctive.
719 Franklin St.
Enjoy a flavored latte or Bombay chai tea while browsing the stock of Christian literature — bibles, fiction, children’s literature, devotionals and classics by C.S. Lewis. The Sanctuary also features an array of coffee mugs, Dayspring greeting cards, fashion options from jewelry to T-shirts, and unexpected conversations. An older gentleman recently stopped at my table to ask if I was a Central student. He talked about his years at Central and reminded me that life is full of zigzags and that I can compete with anybody and succeed. So, bring a book for class and read a little amid the din of good conversation and the aroma of a steaming latte. You never know with what wisdom you might leave.
733 Franklin St.
This gift store is packed with fun items. From hilarious quotes, such as “Next time a stranger talks to me while I’m alone, I will look at them shocked and whisper quietly ‘You can see me?’” to sweet-smelling soaps to some of the softest stuffed animals you may ever cuddle. The store changes its decor to match the season, so there is always something new to discover. Next time you are on the square, take a peek inside and enjoy what it has to offer. You may find yourself quite pleased with the spunky atmosphere, and, who knows, maybe you will run into a fellow Central student.
824 Franklin St.
Housed in a historic church built in the mid-1800s, you walk down the aisles of books and cannot help but smell the old texts. The owner even has Louis L’amour, one of my favorite western authors. You’re surrounded by literature the moment you walk through the doors. Single volumes and boxes full of books line the shelves. Inside the front cover of each book is a handwritten price, adding a nice homey touch. This little antique bookstore, with its charming, well-worn wood floors, tells its own story. For any book lover, it is well worth the walk.
About the Author
Hello! I’m Christa Miller ’20, an English and anthropology double major and student writer for Central. I love horses and can be found riding every opportunity. Outside of classes, I enjoy studying at The Sanctuary on the square and relaxing with some video game walkthroughs. I also enjoy spending time in conversation with friends and writing poetry or short stories. I would love to hear from you with any comments, concerns or questions! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have an amazing day!