HOSPERS, Iowa (KCAU) — Since the mid-1930s, the small community of Hospers has been home to a family-owned furniture. However, that’s all about to change.
Northwest Iowa’s oldest furniture store, which has served the area since 1934, will be closing its doors this week. The community of Hospers gathered together to celebrate the memories of the store run by three generations of the Vander Ploeg family.
Some may remember some of the ads that owner Will Vander Ploeg has created over the years, but now all the memories he’s had at Hospers Furniture are flowing back to him, as the finals days of the store dwindle down.
“I would take a nap and then, this sounds cruel but he’d poke me with the sewing needle to wake me up and then I’d help him when I was like, three years old. I did my first solo carpet job when I was 12,” Will Vander Ploeg said.
The origins of the family business go back to his grandfather William, who started the store back in 1934 on Hospers’ Main Street. After passing in 1945, the store had to be closed for a few months before his son Chasper returned from World War II to reopen it in 1946.
Vander Ploeg said that his father asked for his help in running the place after he graduated from the University of Omaha in 1983.
“If you want an invitation, but I’d love to have you come and join me in the store so a couple of weeks later, I called him up and told him I’m coming home,” Vander Ploeg said.
Chasper continued to help his son until he could no more, even with painting their new location, the old Christian school building.
“It took him about, I don’t know a couple of months to do it, and I remember my youngest daughter. She came in one time and she goes ‘Grandpa, are you gonna get done with this before you die?'” Vander Ploeg said.
Vander Ploeg said he’s tried to live by his company’s slogan: “Your Satisfaction is our Passion.”
“Try to treat every job as if it was my own house, try to treat everybody as family,” said Vander Ploeg.
Vander Ploeg said there’s nothing set in stone yet regarding the sale of his store but that a vacation home awaits him and his wife for the upcoming winter months.