Top Ten Stores to Check out in Valley Junction


Valley Junction may be a small neighborhood but they’re famous amongst locals for their shopping and for the various events they hold during the year. The following are the best places to shop while you’re in the Valley Junction neighborhood.

  1. Bing’s-215 5th Street-The daughter of the owners of Wicker & the Works has opened her own quirky store that has many of the fun elements of W&W but just on a smaller scale- though she has plenty of time to expand. Come here for fun and sassy gifts for everyone in your family as well as books and home décor. If you’re looking for something that’ll make you chuckle or make your day a little brighter, this is the best store to find it.

  2. Nann’s Nummies-501 Elm Street- Nann’s Nummies is hands down the best fudge maker in Des Moines. Theirs comes in flavors like snickers with gooey caramel in the center and maple walnut with large chunks of walnut pieces on top. The fudge is creamy and always fresh. Their store also sells other treats like dutch letters, homemade cookies/bars, bulk candy and salt water taffy. If you happen to live within a 10 mile radius of the store, they’ll deliver your items saving you a trip to the store.

  3. Atomic Garage– 127 5th Street- If you’re in need of authentic clothing from the 60’s and 70’s, Atomic Garage is the best place in town to shop for it. Unlike taking your chances with Goodwill or other used clothing stores, Atomic Garage lets you rent the clothing so you’re not stuck with it once you wear it to the event you need it for.  They accessories like sunglasses and shoes to go with your outfits so you’re authentic from head to toe. Just look for the psychedelic pink/yellow/green paisley building and you know you’ve found the spot.

  4. Heart of Iowa Marketplace-211 5th Street- Heart of Iowa Markeplace lives up their name with the huge selection of Iowa centric gifts/food items for sale here. They specialize in Iowa souvenirs, John Deere items, Hawkeye and Iowa state items and really go out of their way to sell “All things Iowa”. This is a great resource for those wanting to send Iowa items to family out of state to show just what out of towners are missing out on. You can make your own gift basket with the items sold separately or you can take the easier route and get a pre-made basket that come in different price points so you’ll easily find something that is both what you’re looking for and what your budget permits.

  5. Theatrical Shop145 5th Street- The theatrical shop is probably more of a go to spot during holidays like Halloween or for a Santa Suit at Christmas time, but they offer more than just costumes. Their dance department has every thing you could need for the dancer in your life like dance shoes, tights, and dance wear.  Their website lets you shop online but to get the full effect, you really should shop in the store. Even if Halloween is months away, it’s still fun to get ideas of what you want to dress up as or take selfies of the craziest costume you can find.

  6. Wines of Iowa234 5th Street- This independent wine dealer exclusively sells wines made in Iowa as well as wine accessories and home décor. They have wines from over 3 dozen Iowa wineries and close to 400 varieties. Their free daily wine tastings give shoppers the chance to try new wines while also giving them the chance to learn more about the vineyards who produce the wine they’re trying.  They do an excellent job of supporting local artists with the art items they sell in their store.  This is an excellent spot for the wine lover in your life who also wants to support local vineyards.

  7. Sassy’s116 5th Street- Sassy’s is one of the newest additions to Valley Junction but their fun mix of “cool stuff with attitude” fits in nicely with the neighborhood. They have clothing in extended sizes so you don’t have to worry about finding something in your size. They offer Fly London shoes which is a brand that’s kind of hard to find in Iowa but are popular in the United Kingdom.  If you’re looking for clothing that will let you stand out in the crowd, this store has a great selection of fun but also practical clothing.

  8. Kavanaugh Art Gallery– 131 5th Street- Kavanaugh Art Gallery store window display will hook you into coming into the store or at least give you art envy if you don’t end up going in for some shopping.  The gallery is 10,000 square feet and features art from artists like Michael John Hill, a few pieces from famous author Dr. Seuss, Buffalo Bonker and David Gerstein. They have a free 12 month interest free layaway program so if you end up falling in love with something a bit outside of your budget, you can make payments to make it easier to bring it home.

  9. Barnboards and Salvage-413 Maple Street- Barnboards and Salvage started at local farmer’s market and has expanded to their own store selling lovingly restored items salvaged from salvaged wood. If you believe in doing your part to re-use items instead of seeing them go into a landfill then you should support this local business who really cares about keeping the history of an item alive and making sure each item would make a valuable part of your home.

  10. Bozz Prints-215 5th Street- Bozz is smaller but specialized version of Raygun in that they sell a lot of locally-centric items such as prints of iconic places in Des Moines and surrounding states as well as shirts with cute local icons. It’s different from Raygun in that they’re not mass producing topical things as much as Raygun and stick more to the classic Des Moines/Midwest imagery. This is a great place to get an item to show your Iowa pride or to send to someone who misses home.
West Des Moines and Valley Junction (Images of America) $20.08 @



For more shopping ideas, click here for the best wedding cake bakeries in Des Moines and click here for the top greenhouses in the Des Moines area.

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