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The Carousel opens in downtown Hastings

Downtown Hastings has several stores filled with mixtures of antiques and old items. It has stores filled with new items centered around a specific theme. What it doesn't have is a place where people can find an eclectic mix of new items. Until now.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, The Carousel opened its doors at 109 E. Second St. The new store sells gift shop type items such as candle warmers, cards, jewelry, teas, gourmet foods like honey butter and jams, art and some antiques.

"I've just seen a need for this," Jung said.

"Other than (Meloy Park Florist), we don't really have a gift store in town, and that's what we're intending to do," she said.

Like the Emporium and the Great River Art Gallery and Simply Panache, which preceded The Carousel, the new store will sell items from local vendors. It will also sell items from foreign countries people don't usually buy from, Jung said, like Peru, for example. She said she just ordered children's finger puppets made by women in Peru. The puppets have already proven popular.

"These things are really cute," she said.

The biggest difference between The Carousel and The Emporium is that wares at The Emporium are primarily antiques.

"We have a lot of antique stores down there... but there's still a lot of people who aren't into antiques," Jung said.

She tried selling similar new items at The Emporium, but found it difficult to arrange the store effectively with both elements.

"It's hard to mix new and old successfully," she said.

In opening the new store, she hopes to give visitors downtown more options, she said.

"I'm trying to get people to come to the downtown, and to shop locally is really important for everybody here," she said.

The Carousel is open from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays and from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. all other days except Tuesdays. The phone number is 651-346-1096.