Homade is a gift store in Eden Prairie, but it is so much more than that—it is an amazing, creative place to have a child’s birthday party, gathering or even learn how to make your own gingerbread house, all while serving as a local store that sells the work of national and area artists and craftspeople.
One of those local artists is co-owner, Sandra Peterson. Her husband and business partner, Jim Peterson, says that it was Sandra’s love of making craft items that led them to open the store in the first place. “She wanted a place where she could do the things she loves to do and let other people share their work, too,” he says.
Some of those other people are local artists and small businesses like Love Your Melon, which was founded by two University of St. Thomas alums and gives 50 percent of all net profit to support charities that are working to eradicate pediatric cancer. And then there’s Sota Clothing, a fiercely proud Minnesota brand founded by an alum of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. And artists like Larissa Loden, who creates her “fervently handmade” jewelry line in a studio in Northeast Minneapolis.
Mixed in throughout the store are some recognized national brands like Kate Spade, Mud Pie and Natural Life, and products include home décor, jewelry, party supplies, gifts and sweets. The vibe of the store is a bit quirky, and Jim says when people come in for the first time, they are often surprised by the atmosphere.
And then there is the event space in the back of the store. When Homade first opened, it was primarily a place where the Petersons offered arts and crafts classes for adults. But they quickly realized that a birthday party for kids that let everyone make a craft item (that’s the deluxe party option) that they could take home with them would be a big hit.
Now, over 250 times a year, Homade hosts a birthday party in that room; every party has its own theme and color. Sandra works with parents to create a theme that is just perfect for each birthday boy and girl. Sports themes, favorite cartoon character, a favorite color or a special book are often the inspiration. The decorations are elaborate and distinctive. Jim says the set up and take down are very time consuming and, if you look at the pictures on the website you can see the truth in that statement.
On weekends in December, don’t miss the popular gingerbread house making workshop. Groups sometimes book the workshop as a holiday party and—if you are one of the lucky December or January birthday kids—you can book a special deluxe birthday party that includes the gingerbread house workshop.
If you need to find a special present that can only be found off the beaten path, beat a path over to Homade, and see what you can find.