The Village Shoppes to Celebrate 42nd Anniversary
The multi-talented Bill Sutton began his magnificent business of the Village Shoppes 42 years ago on October 1, 1975. And, what a beautiful place it is––in every room on both sides of the street in downtown New Carlisle!
First––its amazing history! Three of the buildings that make up The Village Shoppes previously belonged to 1) Jones Grocery followed briefly by an Osteopath’s office; 2) McMullin’s Dime Store; and 3) The Soda Bar. Buildings 4) and 5) on the east end of the block belonged to Watson’s––first as a drugstore and later a gift shop. The Village Shoppes building 6), across the street, was occupied for a brief time by Calhoun’s Five & Dime.
Today’s Village Shoppes was not Bill’s first business.
While attending college part-time, he started up a shop in the family garage. Earlier the Sutton family had a drive-in restaurant in Buchanan when Bill was 11 years old up to his last year in college, when they sold it in 1975.
After attending IUSB, and a floral school in Chicago, Bill opened the downtown store along with his parents in October of 1975. At the same time, he arranged the flowers for his sister’s wedding as well as for the wedding ceremony of resident Marsha Clendenen.
Bill purchased the Jones Grocery Store in 1975. In 1976 he opened an upstairs gift shop and made macramé. He also made his own candles to sell and, at the same time, his dad Bill Sr. made country-primitive dry sinks, hutches, and wall cabinets. His mother Vi came on board as the shop bookkeeper and waited on customers. It was just the three of them until a year later when two employees were hired.
Later Bill bought the former Calhoun’s Five & Dime building in 1985. In 1998-1999, Bill rented before buying the soda bar from former owner, Dan Schumaker. The fourth and fifth buildings belonging to Winnie Watson were purchased in 1998-1999. Winnie and Glen Watson (a Pharmacist) ran a drugstore for many years. After Glen passed away, Winnie turned the store into a gift and collectible shop during her last 23 years in business.
Over the years, the Village Shoppes, with its extraordinary gifts and furnishings, has become a destination for many to buy Christmas gifts and/or enjoy year-round shopping. Many visitors and shoppers come from Chicago, LaPorte, Granger, Indianapolis and other communities. Some enjoy meeting here, making a day of it with a personal tour of our quaint town, shops, restaurants, and to enjoy the Village Shoppes.
Not only do residents and visitors to our Town find many delightful gifts at the Village Shoppes, Bill has added unique women’s clothing, recently expanded with additional designs, along with accessories, jewelry and purses. Also, exciting are the gourmet foods, kitchen supplies, furniture and accessories.
Exquisite jewelry is on display along with many choices of lovely and unique items to further enhance your furnishings. And, as always, fresh flowers can be ordered for any event.
Across the street you will find the Collection featuring tasteful and comfortable household furnishings, along with delightful and fun greeting cards for every occasion.
Bill was told some years ago that he was not going to make a go of the business. However, beginning with a small scale of items and offering smart merchandise over time, the store has grown in amazing ways.
Currently, there are 22 employees with as many as 27 seasonally. Bill regularly attends gift shows in both Atlanta and Las Vegas. He orders from High Point in North Carolina, the furniture capital of the world, as well as over 400 vendors throughout the United States.
The Village Shoppes is always a delightful and beautiful place to enjoy a visit, shop for gifts, and/or find something charming and just right and for your home! Their website is www.TheVillageShoppes.com. You can sign up for their Email Newsletter.
Bill adds, “Please like us on Facebook for updates and promotions.”
The Christmas Open Houses at the Village Shoppes are famous throughout the Midwest. There are nearly 50 fully decorated designer Christmas Trees as well as décor for your home––featuring wreaths and arrangements by our talented designers.
Stop by soon-––there’s always something new in the store!