The Villager

The Villager

"The eclecticism of the place is what makes us unique."

It’s not easy to describe The Villager in a single word, but “eclectic” probably comes closest. Owner Bob Tibbles says The Villager in downtown New Buffalo has a little bit of everything.  There is a gallery, gift items, home accessories, table linens, serving pieces, decorative accessories, outdoor and garden decoration, and items that appeal to children.

It didn’t start out that way, says Tibbles, but over the past 19 years since The Villager first opened, it just evolved that way.

“I was in the floral business for 30-plus years, and my sister had a weekend house here in New Buffalo,” says Tibbles. "I was in the floral business for 30-plus years and my sister had a weekend house in New Buffalo," says Tibbles. "I was living in Chicago at the time and I came to visit her and look around for a place to live. While I was waiting for the Realtor downtown, I noticed this little building across the street."

Tibbles explains that he was at a point in his life where he was looking for a change, so he started asking questions.

By the time he had stopped asking questions, he had taken over a 400-square-foot storefront on Whittaker Street, right in the heart of downtown New Buffalo.

Today, that has grown to 3,000 square feet as his business has expanded into nearby storefronts, as well as another 1,500 square feet at the Frisky Frog, an outdoor decoration retailer three blocks away.

“We’ve got a lot to offer people. We have stuff for children, and we have things that appeal to a lot of different people.” Tibbles says he wouldn’t go so far as to say the store’s inventory appeals to everyone, but he works hard to have a good mix.

“I have a big selection of Vera Bradley bags,” he says. “I wouldn’t buy one for me, but there are a lot of people who love them. We have a lot of different things to offer. I’d say the eclecticism of the place is what makes us unique.”

Tibbles says the items in The Villager appeal to both weekend visitors to New Buffalo as well as year-round residents.

“We also get a lot of customers from Valparaiso and South Bend,” he says. “Regardless of who they are, I like to get to know them. We’re not like a big-box store. We’re a small boutique where there is service and communication. ?

The Villager is at 100 N. Whittaker St., New Buffalo, Mich. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday
and 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information,
call (269) 469-6151 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..