Located in the heart of Mennonite and Amish country, Shipshewana got its name from Chief Shipshewana of the Potawatomi tribe of Native Americans.
The influence of the Mennonite and Amish communities gives Shipshewana a unique, small-town atmosphere. This may account for the fact that Shipshewana is the only town in Indiana to be included in the “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” list.
No small town would be complete without a full-service hardware store, and Town and County Hardware definitely fits the bill. The store has been in business for over 50 years and was bought by current owner Kenneth Myers six years ago. From friends and from other business owners, Myers had learned of the Postal Service’s Village Post Office (VPO) model and its success in rural towns like Shipshewana.
As a result, the 33rd VPO in the Greater Indiana District opened March 12 at Town and Country Hardware in Shipshewana.
“I really liked the idea of a VPO in our store,” Myers explained. “We try to provide as many services as we can to the community and having the convenience of being able to buy a book of stamps while shopping in our store seemed to be another service we could offer.”
In addition to the many farm products available for local farmers, and especially the Amish, Myers said the store also stocks hard-to-find tools and supplies. “It’s all part of that service mindset,” he stated.
Town and Country Hardware is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
The new postal center was opened by Larry Dauby, the U.S. Postal Service’s manager of post office operations.
In 2011, the Postal Service introduced the VPO model as an alternate retail location for postal products and services, especially in rural communities.
VPOs are operated by local businesses contracting with the Postal Service, and offer a range of popular postal products and services including stamps and flat-rate packaging.