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Ever since Jerry Graf, owner of Graf’s Home Furnishings in Amboy, announced he and his wife, Sandy, were retiring and would be having a going-out-of-business sale starting in August, a combination of longtime and new customers have been coming in droves to visit the downtown store.

There are plenty of regular household items available at Mankato’s growing thrift stores, but walking out with a rare gem is a distinct possibility. Old style turntables and a diverse array of antiques and musical instruments show up every once in a while, mixed in with more common items like clothes and furniture. There are nearly a dozen thrift stores in the Mankato area, and they each have a niche to stand out in an increasingly crowded field.

Hemp plants being grown in the CBD Centers store in Mankato. The store also gets its hemp plants from Midwest Hemp Farm in Waseca. Photo by Ja…

ST. PETER — Although Shopko announced recently it will be closing the St. Peter store, Hy-Vee, which purchased several pharmacies from Shopko, said it will move into the pharmacy space inside the St. Peter store.

MANKATO — The Shopko stores in St. Peter and St. James are closing as the company announced this week it will close another 200 stores. Along with previous closure announcements, the chain is now shuttering 70 percent of its stores.

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“What I love doing is sharing with others.”  Those eight words by Connie Karstens beautifully sum up her dedication to the growing number of customers who have discovered her unique farm store.