Shop The Heartland For The Holidays: Mangelsen's

Posted at 4:30 AM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2021-01-07 15:53:51-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Mangelsens is the store that has everything.

"If we don't have it, you don't need it. But if you need it, we'll get it,” said owner David Mangelsen.

His parents started this store more than 60 years ago.

"We started as a Ben Franklin store,” he said. “I started with pet supplies when I was 13. That was my first department. I took care of the gold fish."

A lot has changed since then but not the mission.

"Just come in here, you don't have to buy anything. Just come in here and get a Mangelsen's fix," Mangelsen said.

The Mangelsen's fix is the feeling you get while you're here.

WEB EXTRA: Take a tour around Mangelsen's

WEB EXTRA: Take a tour of Mangelsen's

"This is your feel good place," he said. "You can come in here and just kind of tune out, relax, listen to the music, look at the pretty lights and ornaments and it just takes you back to your childhood times."

The Christmas room ignites all your senses - sight, sound and even taste.

"We also serve apple cider at Christmas time," Mangelsen said.

Each department has it's own personality.

"This is one of the best framing departments in town. We do stuff that no one else will do," he said. "We framed a skin of an alligator that's about 12 feet long - no one else knew how to do it."

The quilting area is one of the most popular spaces right now.

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"When the pandemic started, the quilting department still kept going. We would sell fabric here off the curb. We would sell them to make masks," Mangelsen said.

Creative Corner is one of the newest additions at Mangelsen's. Because do-it-yourself projects are so popular now, they have an entire room where you can just sit down and create.

"You can't buy this on Amazon, you can't buy this at Walmart," he said.

That's why he says Mangelsen's has survived. They see a need and adapt.

"More people are crafting together, cooking together, they're putting puzzles together as a family," Mangelsen said.

So now, the store is adding more home goods as many continue to work and spend extra time at home.

Mangelsen's moves from one season to the next. Halloween to Christmas is their busiest time but everyday is important.

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"We do things little differently on purpose, in a good way as far as customer service and being friendly to our customers," Mangelsen said.

He believes that's what you get when you shop local. When you don't?

"They'll say what happened? Why did that store go out of business? And I might say... did you go shop there? Did you support them? Oh, I didn't do that. There you go," Mangelsen said.

Something he hopes will never happen at Mangelsen's.

From now until December 23rd, Mangelsen's is hosting its annual Elf on a Shelf scavenger hunt. Children solve the riddles to find the six elves hidden around the stores. Kiddos who find all the elves - get a special treat.

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