If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I love stumbling across new places to see and things to do in the Joplin area.
And I get especially excited when I discover new local businesses.
First of all, local businesses usually provide a high level of customer service. The owners of these businesses are often visible and accessible, and make an effort to get to know their customers.
Second of all, these mom-and-pop shops often sell items that are made in the Joplin area. It’s mind-blowing to me to see the things produced by our neighbors and friends here in our community. This town has some pretty big talent!
Beautify Your Nest
Sandstone Gardens, 2826 Douglas Fir Road
Drivers on I-44 get an unexpected surprise just west of Joplin when they spot the massive European-inspired estate that houses Sandstone Gardens.
The interior of this impressive 50,000 square-foot building contains a wide selection of furniture, home decor, seasonal decor, candles, and boutique accessories, as well as the Bistro restaurant (the desserts there are amazing!).
But the most unique items at Sandstone Gardens are the cast-stone home and garden pieces that are displayed throughout the showroom and the gardens outside.
People come from near and far to buy these timeless pieces. I’ve purchased several myself, including flower pots, a bird bath, a garden bench, and some floral arrangements set in cast-stone urns.
Urban Art Gallery, 511 South Main Street
From photographs to ceramics to jewelry, this gallery features pieces made by local artists, making it a great place to look if you’re shopping for a unique gift.
One of my favorite artists sells her work here at Urban Art Gallery. She’s Kristin Girard, the jewelry artist/scientist behind Kristin’s Laboratory.
Forget driving to a big city to shop for the latest styles of clothing! In fact, Joplin has so many hip and original women’s boutiques that I had to make a post just for them, which you can read right here.
Fill Your Belly
Candy House Gourmet, 510 Kentucky Avenue
I fell in love with this place the very first time I visited Joplin, and I’ve been a devoted customer now for twenty years. This handcrafted chocolate is made at the Chocolate Factory downtown, and you can even tour the facility to watch the process in action.
Try a sample of the sea salt caramels (my favorite), the English toffee, the fudge, or anything else – it’s all good. Candy House also sells a variety of sugar-free chocolates, as well as pre-packaged candy assortments that make great gifts.
Joplin Empire Market, 931 E. 4th Street
For a true slice of the Four State Area, visit the Joplin Empire Market. Open year-round on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., this market features vendors from a 150-mile radius selling produce, meats, eggs, local products, crafts, and art.
Runaround Running & Lifestyle Co., 422 Main Street
You don’t have to be a runner to benefit from a visit to this store. In fact, more than 50% of the store’s business comes from people who are on their feet all day. But all of these customers have one thing in common: they are seeking the perfect fit.
To find it, Runaround uses a computerized system which provides information (high arch, low arch, etc.) that allows the staff to find the optimal shoe for each customer.
With a wide selection of performance-related shoes, apparel, and gear, as well as its excellent customer service, it’s easy to see why Runaround earned a place in Competitor magazine’s “50 Best Running Stores in America 2013.” Ranked along with running stores located in big cities across the nation, that’s quite an honor for a Joplin business.
We’ve got some great local shops in this town, run by talented people who are passionate about what they do.
Take some time to visit these gems and see for yourself.
You’ll be glad you did.
To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.