The Broken Bow shopping experience

If you are tired of struggling through big box stores, why not try shopping small?

"I want you to come into my store and feel like it's home," Broken Bow store owner Jill Thompson said. Thompson is the owner of Ortello Dale. It's one of may shops in Broken Bow's downtown square that's making the community an inviting place to visit. The name of the store is a personal nod to her family. "It's actually named after my parents. My dad grew up in the Dale valley which is over by Merna, and his family farms and ranches there. My mom grew up in Ortello valley, and her family farms and ranches there, so I named it after them," Thompson said.

And she tries to bring one-of-a-kind items to the marketplace. "I know there are lots of places to go buy home decor items, but I'm very fortunate," Thompson said. "The community has really supported my store, as well as neighboring towns. I get a lot of people from Kearney, Lincoln and Grand Island, as well as tons of people from the Sandhills."

Thompson isn't the only shop owner making an impact in Broken Bow. At Triple Blessed Boutique, owner Jamie Eberle and manager Bailey Tebow offer stylish clothing for the busy mom. "We sell women's clothing small to 3 XL, so we wanted to bring in something that was going to allow a broad range of size to be able to shop here at our store," Tebow said.

Both Eberle and Tebow come from larger cities, but now call Broken Bow home. They say shoppers can easily spend the day in town, and it's not just your basic shopping experience anymore. "We have so much to offer here, and all the different stores that we have, you can find pretty much everything you need now," Eberle said.

If you are looking for everything from tennis shoes to western boots, you can find that at the Bow Booterie. It's a business operated by Jodene and Dick Taylor, and the building has history. "We have owned it for 17 years, but it's always been a shoe store," Jodene Taylor said. "It first started in the 1920's." Jodene says they are thankful for their loyal local customers, but they do get people from across the state as well. "We do pull people from the bigger cities. One thing we've heard people say is they can find things here that they haven't been able to find in the big cities. That floors us, because the cities have a lot more resources to pull from," Taylor said.

Customer service is definitely something you can find in rural Nebraska, and is a key component in why Broken Bow stores stand out. "I think being nestled in Broken Bow and just having the community that we do, our customer service is going to be our number one importance," Tebow said.

Store owners hope Nebraskans will shop local in Broken Bow, and make a weekend out of it. "We would love to welcome people to Broken Bow for the weekend, or overnight," Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deb Kennedy said. "We've got fantastic hotels, we've got great bed and breakfasts that have opened up in the community, awesome restaurants to eat at, not to mention the great shopping experiences."

And with customer service at the forefront, it's hard not to be drawn to the fun of shopping small.