located in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Wykoff, at 105 Gold St. It survived an 1895 fire, which
destroyed the entire business block on the west side of the street — with the exception of the new bank, which was built of brick. Only the roof was partially burned.
Through the years, the building housed various businesses until 1991, when it was completely remodeled. The front of the building was restored to its original design. Parts
of the bank interior were purchased in Illinois. The mahogany wood and ornate grillware are believed to date back to the 1860s. The marble in the teller
stations came from the First State Bank in Wykoff. The interior also has a contemporary design. You will find
interesting display shelves that were designed especially to compliment the antique furniture. Other interesting
features are the original bank safe and safety deposit boxes. In 1994, the business was known as The Bank Gift
Haus. The Tea Room came later.
"The inspiration for this business came
when my late husband and I always wanted a tea room in 2004," said Mary Sackett, of Stewartville, the present owner. "I left at his death in 2008 and returned in 2012, re-opening in September after reacquiring the business
from Maxine VanDeWalker. My partner Shirley
Hackenmiller, Osage, Iowa, who loves antiques and many have been passed down in her family, has found this to be a great 'fit.'"
“My sister Roxanne does help when she can and
definitely helps to redecorate for each season,” Sackett
said. Margaret’s Tea Room is a place where you can relax and sit down in a quiet atmosphere in a unique setting. “The room is decorated with merchandise
to sell and we use not paper, but only linen napkins," Sackett said.
“As you go throughout the shop you will find a nice variety of quality antiques, jewelry, local pottery that sells well, fabulous line of local handmade soap, season gifts, recently added barn board items and so much more," she said. "We try to stay with the current trends. We mix new antique and vintage in both our levels and the tea room area.”
When it came to the furnishings in the shop, Sackett said, “I did check out garage sales, estate sales, auctions,
flea-markets and thrift shops, but the items had to 'fit' with our theme. My partner loves to antique-shop and (attend) estate sales, so we do use these items as fillers.”
When it comes to Sackett’s barn board work,
she turns old into meaningful pieces. “I keep the shop well supplied with the many items I make from barn boards from my farm that I decorate and finish to sell," she said.
The shop does make its own homemade fudge. It
is made fresh in the store with butter and cream with different varieties available. Sometimes the fudge sales are used for fund-raisers.
“Our promotion at this time," Sackett said, "is contributing 25 percent of the proceeds from our fudge sales to Kingsland High School students to help them
raise money for their trip to Costa Rica in June 2013. The students are taking orders and will probably
deliver up to 500 pounds of fudge.”
Do customers come in and say, "I remember when..."?
“I get that all the time, telling me it’s beautiful
and they love our new antique addition,”Sackett said. “They love it to purchase and to even if only to look at.
Customers come from Texas, Colorado, and many places while visiting the (Mayo) clinic in Rochester. Between
appointments they come and shop and dine in an actual tea room.”