TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A family-owned business, Terre Haute’s Vendor Village, has been working with and for the community to provide one-of-a-kind items and unique experiences like treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, and more.
With four stores across the states of Kentucky and Indiana, the Terre Haute Vendor’s Village is the largest of them all. Since its opening in late 2018, the 69,000-square-foot store within the Haute City Center has continuously used creativity and fun events to bring in shoppers, like Treasure Hunt Tuesdays, scavenger hunts, Easter egg hunts, trick or treating, and more.
“We feel that shopping at Vendors’ Village is not really just shopping, it’s more entertainment for people. When people come to our stores, for the most part, they don’t know what they want. It’s more so a leisurely thing, so we want to make it an environment that people enjoy, and they just enjoy being at,” explained Matt Jeffery, Vendors’ Village owner.
With future plans to bring more unique features to the store, Jeffery discussed ideas for upcoming changes.
“So some of the changes that we plan on doing at this store that we’ve already done at some of the other stores, is making vintage lounge areas, adding free vintage arcades, just stuff that’s not meant for us to capitalize on or make money, but to make the environment more inviting to people,” Jeffery said.
As a weekly event, Treasure Hunt Tuesdays tend to see a lot of traffic.
“We at least get one customer almost every week who wants to look for it. It definitely varies, but during our busy months, we get big groups of people in looking for it. Like families of 3, 4, or 5 people. We just had a family that signed up to be vendors actually as well, they look for it all the time, pretty regularly,” explained Stevie Tegenkamp, assistant manager.
The rules of the events are simple and all are welcome to participate.
“The rules are we don’t put it in the showcases, and it’s really just supposed to be in plain sight but still hidden. Whoever is working in the morning will grab it and take a stroll about the store until they find a spot that looks good. It’s only for Tuesdays, open to close, or until someone finds it,” Tegenkamp said.
The first person or group to find the treasure will receive a $25.00 Vendors’ Village gift certificate to be applied to their purchase for the day. The same reward goes to those who participate in the scavenger hunts as well.
“It normally varies depending on how difficult the (scavenger) hunt is, but $25.00 is the standard. Normally its highest score wins, I think we might sometimes do places like first and second, and if it’s a tie we just jumble the names up and pull them out of a hat,” said Tegenkamp.
The scavenger hunts are usually comprised of a list of 15-20 items of things that would easily be found in the store. Participants will have a few hours to take photos of the items with their phones and can mark off the items on a provided list. The next scavenger hunt is currently scheduled for Feb. 25, and another is planned for sometime in June and again in September.
Vendors’ Village was created by a family who enjoyed the atmosphere of similar stores and found themselves working to open a place of their own.
“My dad had a paving business that used to work for him, but when the recession hit a lot of businesses didn’t make it through it. So we were just kinda figuring out what to do. And we always enjoyed going to stores like this. So, me and my brother decided to try and do it ourselves,” explained Jeffery. “So we literally got in the car, we drove around the state of Kentucky, cause were from Kentucky, and just looking for big buildings, not knowing what we were doing at all. And just kinda figured it out. We found a building and kinda bumbled our way through it and over time you kinda learn stuff the hard way so we just made some big mistakes, did some great things, and gotta give glory to God, he helped us through it all.”
For those interested in visiting Vendors’ Village, or learning more about the events offered, call 812-235-6326, or visit them on their website.