Backpack Pat – Putting Down the Backpack (Just for a Day) and Picking Up a Shopping Bag
With all of the hiking, biking, camping, swimming, boating, sightseeing, off-roading, and many “ING”s one can do in the Apache Junction area, there is another activity that I don’t mind doing, shopping. I will admit it when it is a little too hot to safely go for a hike, I want to fill my off time with a little retail therapy. And Apache Junction area is a great area to shop as there are an amazing amount of unique shops, many of which are featured on the VisitAJ.com website. Also, some of them have been touched on, such as the gift shops at Goldfield Ghost Town, but for this blog post, there are three local shops that I recently visited and highlighted my shoppING adventure. I started this particular day with Obies Trains.
Fred Obermeyer opened his Apache Junction store in 2013 and has established his well-respected business of selling model trains and so much more. Located in the Ocotillo Center at 2114 Apache Trail #11, Apache Junction, AZ 85120 (on the upper level), his approximately 800 square foot store might be small looking on the outside, but it is chockful of model trains, diecast cars, to-scale planes, and all the cityscape buildings and landscaping to build a model train city.
What’s Great About Obies Trains
Obies Trains is open every day except on Sundays and Fred welcomes his guests and customers with his extensive knowledge of all things trains. You can see his passion for his store in the items he carries as his products are of high quality and are displayed in a manner to help his customers get creative. Best of all, you can see his products on full display by viewing not one, but two model train sets. The first one you will encounter has an amazing amount of buildings, trees, and other to-scale novelties to help create this mini-city. He does ask his guests to politely not touch the model since some of the items on that display are delicate. However, that is not a problem, as your eyes will feast on all the amazing details and you get to watch the train go around the whole city just like trains in real life.
The second model train is a larger scale and it is on a different display table towards the back of the store which will entice you to continue to look around as every corner and shelf is filled with items to keep your hobby time busy. For this particular trip, I was looking for toy cars as my nephew’s birthday was coming up and Obies Trains did not disappoint!
There’s More in Store
Towards the rear of the store, there are several displays of cars, trucks, offroad recreation vehicles, and city-related vehicles for me to choose from. I took my time looking at all of the offerings as I searched for some unique options, and I also tried to think of which toy vehicle my nephew did not already have. After a few minutes, I picked out a truck that had an attached horse trailer and a convertible car because I know my nephew enjoys this type of vehicle.
I went up to the counter to purchase my nephew’s hopefully future favorite toys, and I kept looking around as my eyes were drawn in every direction. I saw even more products that would inspire me to build and operate my own model train set. Fred got to talk to me a bit and he mentioned that he gets customers from all over the country coming to visit his store to share their love and experiences of their model train sets back home. I wondered why customers would come from such a distance and Fred mentioned that he is the last independent store in Arizona that is focused on model trains! I did not know that factoid until Fred mentioned it. That certainly inspired me to write this blog, feature his store and share his story with you all. And, with that notion, go check out Obies Trains as it’s such a great place for the train enthusiast or a great store to get that special gift for a kiddo.
Paula’s Crazy Horse Saddle Shop
Are you looking for a store to provide you with items to help you explore the southwest on horseback? Well, good news, a unique independent shop exists on Apache Trail that can assist you with that, Paula’s Crazy Horse Saddle Shop is located at 1484 Apache Trail #5, Apache Junction, AZ 85120. While the store may seem small, at just a little over 700 square feet, it contains a bountiful mix of items related to the world of equine.
Paula, a proud Apache Junction business owner, has been growing her saddle shop for over 21 years and she actually got her start selling equestrian items in a small corner of her parent’s photo-developing shop. Her business grew to where now her items took over the 1484 W Apache Trail location and her parents help tend to the retail counter and set up the shop for customers and first-time visitors.
The Spirit of the Equestrian Community can be Found Inside Crazy Horse Saddle Shop
This shop is a place for everyone, from getting started in the equestrian community to customers with generations of equine knowledge. Paula and her team are happy to help chat about their products and make suggestions on what to get everyone’s equestrian-related needs. And, if you are looking to support this business and do not have experience with horses, then don’t fret as they have great gift ideas including candles, horse figurines, hats, photo frames, equestrian-themed home decorations, greeting cards, and more. In fact, around the holidays, Paula will carry a variety of toys that is sure to please the kiddos on your gift list.
If you are in the Apache Junction area and you want to look for saddles (new and used), fly masks, spurs equine products and more, then stop by Crazy Horse Saddle Shop as they are open Mondays through Saturdays. And, if you are into barrel racing, then feel free to chat with Paula about this fast-paced sport as she is a big fan of barrel racing – she even sponsors a variety of barrel racers.
It is great to have Paula and her family in Apache Junction given the notion that her family has owned a variety of businesses in Apache Junction since 1982!
Treasure Box II Boutique
This day of shopping at local establishments came to a close at Treasure Box II Boutique located at 300 W. Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ, AZ 85120 which is right around the corner from Flat Iron Park in downtown Apache Junction. Be prepared to feel the nostalgia and the artistic inspiration as you rummage through this 5,000-square-foot space that is filled with amazing items from over 90 vendors. This retail shop has been owned and operated by Kathy and Teri for the past seven years and their shop is called Treasure Box II as this is their second location. The original location was smaller and was located in another unit in the same shopping center.
What Kind of Treasures Will You Find?
Inside their expanded shop, you can browse through many bays from Monday through Saturday. To entice shoppers to stay a little longer, Kathy and Teri are open later on Fridays since the shopping center hosts local food trucks night every Friday.
On top of offering a variety of home décor, kitchenware, furniture, instruments, and other items, Teri offers a whole variety of art classes. The art classes offered include resin art, hydro dipping and epoxy pour, and more. The classes offered will vary during the year, so it is best to visit their Facebook page or call them at 602-320-4796.
Finally, be sure to check out the new tea bar that opened within their retail store as customers can enjoy a refreshing tea while shopping the aisles or taking an art class.
So go check out the Treasure Box II Boutique in downtown Apache Junction and be sure to make room in your vehicle for all the wonderful treasures you will find!