Sue Schafer and her son, Brian, are pleased to be in business at their secondhand furniture and household goods store, Treasure Shack, on Main Street in Chatfield. Not shown is Sue's daughter and Brian's sister, Shelly Sabin, who is also a partner in the business.
Sue Schafer and her son, Brian, are pleased to be in business at their secondhand furniture and household goods store, Treasure Shack, on Main Street in Chatfield. Not shown is Sue's daughter and Brian's sister, Shelly Sabin, who is also a partner in the business.
Sue Schafer, her son Brian, and daughter, Shelly Sabin, have accessible couches. Their new business, the Treasure Shack, exists because they kept throwing things out there.

"We were all sitting together going through ideas, and we kept throwing things out there. We kept coming back to 'One person's trash is another person's treasure,' and my wife, Vicki, liked the word 'shack'," said Brian, explaining how Treasure Shack, the new secondhand furniture and household goods store on Chatfield's Main Street, garnered its name.

The family-owned business opened on Nov. 5, and the experienced merchants are ready to give other people's unwanted furniture another chance to shine.

Sue stated, "Our main goal is to find good, quality, used furniture that we hopefully can get at a cost that we can sell it at a lower cost. We want lower income people to have a chance to buy nice furniture instead of just looking in a furniture store. We had a store like this when we lived in Kentucky, and we came back here and started thinking about opening a store, and we finally decided to go ahead and do it."

Treasure Shack is small compared to the store the Schafers operated in Henderson, Ky., which is east of Paducah, according to Brian. He explained, "Our store in Kentucky was four times this."

The family, originally from St. Charles and now residents of Chatfield, moved back to Minnesota five years ago to be available for their newborn granddaughter, who was very ill and has undergone several surgeries since her birth.

"We came up to help her, but she's doing well now. She's Grandma's sidekick." The long-haul truck driver shared that she and her children buy items for their store at affordable prices and pass the good fortune on to their customers.

"We go to estate sales, auctions, flea markets, garage sales, pick up furniture that way. It's mainly furniture - we might get into appliances, but they'd have to be in good condition - and small knickknacks. We're lucky that we went to some very good auctions when we got started," Sue said.

Brian noted, "Our prices are what bring people back. We have good, quality furniture at low prices here to help people who can't go into expensive stores and buy a good, quality couch for $200 to $300. We have couches for as low as $7 and a set for $80, and you won't see anything higher than that. We sell things for anywhere between a dollar and $50."

His mother related, "It gives us a good feeling to have people come in, visit with us, and to see them go out with a nice couch or bed."

They're currently renting the storefront on the east side of Main Street, but they have ambitions of eventually relocating to a larger shop since they've met customers from the tri-state area.

"We've had people from Cresco and other parts of Iowa, from Wisconsin, from South Dakota. We're hoping business gets big enough that we can expand, that people spread the word farther, that we can eventually have an auction once a month," Sue added. "We have people coming in and telling us what they're looking for and we get new items every week. We try to look for what they're needing and we call them when we have it."

So far, the family business is doing well enough that, according to Sue, "We hauled two loads in on a Saturday and three loads out on Sunday. People saw things on the trailer and they wanted them. That's fun."

Though they truly "love" the sport of shopping for their merchandise at auctions and sales - "especially if we come home with a good load of stuff" - they're considering offering consignment services.

Sue stated, "We'll look at anything, but our main goal is to get tables, chairs, dressers, beds and lamps."

They definitely anticipate being available to assist people in search of the perfect place to sit, sleep or eat - just visit them and peruse the variety of treasures in their trove.

Treasure Shack is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the Schafers plan to be in the store until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. this coming Saturday, Dec. 22, to allow customers an opportunity to shop for comfy couches before company comes to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

Brian delivers furniture each Friday afternoon and is available to answer questions if needed. For more information, call Treasure Shack at (507) 564-1062 or Brian Schafer at (507) 273-3211.