Sheldon’s Ben Franklin Store To Be Only One Left In Iowa

Sheldon, Iowa — At the beginning of the year, there were three Ben Franklin stores in Iowa. The store in Winterset sold out in May, and the store in Eagle Grove is closing now, both due to retirement. That will make Sheldon’s Ben Franklin the only remaining store in the state.

Published reports indicate the company was founded way back in 1877. In fact, owner Phil Warnke tells us Sheldon’s Ben Franklin has history almost that old.

Warnke says they’ve owned the business since the 1990s.

He says next year will be their 33rd year, as they’ve had the business since 1991. Warnke tells us the actual Ben Franklin company that had a corporate distribution center hasn’t been in business for several years.

Warnke says not only will Sheldon’s store be the last one in Iowa — it will be one of only a handful in the United States.

The Warnkes started a Ben Franklin Crafts Central store in Orange City a while back. Warnke says they sold that store a a little over three years ago. He says they still use the Ben Franklin name too, but are not a traditional Ben Franklin five-and-dime-type store. He says the new owners are still doing quite well there.

Warnke says they still plan on being open for several more years in Sheldon.

He says the Sheldon location still does photo framing too, but that’s a separate business. He says he really wants to thank his customers for giving them the privilege of running the Sheldon Ben Franklin for so long.

The store that’s closing in Eagle Grove also has Radio Shack and Hallmark Cards, and the whole store is closing.


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