Bank Gift Haus co-owner Mary Sackett, at left, is shown with employee Pam Eickhoff in front of some of the decorations in place for their holiday open house. Shirley Hackenmiller, also co-owner of the business, is not shown. The owners welcome area residents to their holiday open house, which will be held Friday and Saturday.
Bank Gift Haus co-owner Mary Sackett, at left, is shown with employee Pam Eickhoff in front of some of the decorations in place for their holiday open house. Shirley Hackenmiller, also co-owner of the business, is not shown. The owners welcome area residents to their holiday open house, which will be held Friday and Saturday.
When visiting the Bank Gift Haus and Margaret's Tea Room in Wykoff, among the same items shoppers and diners have come to love, one can find a familiar face at the business.

Mary Sackett of Stewartville is back. Owner of the Bank Gift Haus from 2004 until 2008, she has reacquired the business from Maxine VanDeWalker who owned it from 2008 until June 2012. It officially reopened for business on Sept. 15. Sackett is now co-owner with Shirley Hackenmiller, who also is a familiar face around town because she has her massage business, Inner Peace Massage, in Wykoff.

Hackenmiller lives in Osage, Iowa, and is originally from Stacyville, Iowa. She decided to join Sackett on this venture because she felt it was "an answer to all my likes." Hackenmiller is "big into antiques" and she has many that have been passed down in her family. According to her, this "is not a job, it's fun." In addition to working at her massage business, she is employed as an ER nurse at Olmsted Medical Center.

"I always say I have one job and two passions," she added, with her nursing career as her job and massage and antiques serving as her passions.

Hackenmiller said she has known Sackett and her family for 30-plus years, noting they like to share ideas and always have fun together.

Pam Eickhoff of Wykoff, who works in the shop, admitted that the two are fun to work with.

The shop has a wide assortment of quality antiques, collectibles, furniture, gourmet coffees and flavored teas, primitives, and, a favorite of many, fudge. In fact, Sackett says the Bank Gift Haus is available for fudge fundraisers. She is currently working on a fundraiser for Kingsland High School students to help them raise money for their Costa Rica trip, where 25 percent of the proceeds from the fudge goes to the high schoolers from now until June 1. The students will take orders and they will end up delivering between 400 to 500 pounds of fudge, noted Sackett.

They also have a selection of candles, a new line of spa items, jewelry and scarves for sale. The owners added that "pretty much the same items" are available that visitors have come to know and love.

Hackenmiller said their merchandise is "not just for women" and that they have items "all genders can appreciate."

Sackett, who cooks and serves in the tea room, said cook Kim Frank is expected to be back cooking on occasion for visitors. Sackett noted their food is homemade, meaning everything is made from scratch. The co-owners added that they like to shop local, as much as they can. "It's good for the economy," noted Hackenmiller.

The tearoom now has an expanded menu. New sandwiches, soups, salads and deserts have been added.

Hackenmiller said she enjoys greeting customers and waiting on them in the shop area in the front of the business. All three of the ladies often pitch in to help out where needed.

Holiday open house

The business will hold its holiday open house on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The ladies will be busy decorating for the holidays in the days leading up to the event. Visitors are encouraged to come see the decorations and shop their assortment of gift items. There will be door prizes, food samples and in-store specials offered during the two-day event.

During the event, Sackett said there will be many festive arrangements and centerpieces on display. "It will be very glitzy," she added.

Sackett encourages people to "come and visit."

"We love to see new and old faces," she concluded.

The Bank Gift Haus is located at 105 Gold Street in downtown Wykoff.