YOU NEED ONLY STEP inside LaNette’s Antiques ‘N Lace to experience her passion for antiques, window treatments, chocolate and coffee.
They’re all there in her inviting corner shop in downtown Montgomery which features everything from her customized window treatments to local artisan products to antiques and collectibles, plus coffee, tea, ice cream and chocolate.
Add owner LaNette Kuelper’s friendly welcome—she’s a genuine people person—and you’ll feel like you’ve known her for years, although you’ve only just met her.
LaNette is among the array of hospitable shopkeepers my husband and I met on a recent Saturday visit to this south-central Minnesota community of some 3,000 known as The Kolacky Capital of the World, tracing to the area’s rich Czech heritage.
The presence of the Czech heritage is so strong here that Montgomery celebrates with an annual summer Kolacky Days celebration, hosts the annual Miss Czech Slovak MN Pageant and is home to a Czech import shop.
At Cjay’s Czech Imports, we met owner Carol Kotasek, raised by her Czech grandmother and fluent in Czech. You can hear a hint of dialect in her speech, a comforting connection to The Old Country.
Carol regularly travels to the Czech Republic to purchase the handcrafted artisan merchandise which graces her cozy shop on the southwest side of Montgomery along Minnesota State Highways 13/21. She knows her artists by name—Bohunka, Myška, Krupička…
Being 100 percent German, and once fluent in Deutsch, I find the names foreign. Carol must spell the names, pointing out the accent marks above consonants.
There’s something particularly endearing in this exchange—the spelling of unfamiliar names, the hint of dialect, Carols’ appreciation of fine Czech craftsmanship—that touches my soul. That we should all cherish our heritage with such passion.
FYI: Cjay’s Czech Imports, 506 Fourth St. S.W., is open daily from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Click here to link to the store’s website.
LaNette’s, 225 First St. S., is open from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Thursday and from 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. Friday – Saturday. Closed Sunday. Click here to reach LaNette’s Facebook page.
Please check back for one final post from Montgomery. I’ll take you to a local pizza place and inside a one-of-a-kind museum. If you have not read my earlier posts, go back to Sunday and start reading about Montgomery. Also check my March 4 – 8 archives for stories published after a previous visit.
© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling