Zandbroz Variety

Zandbroz Variety

Downtown Store, With A Lake-Country Tourist Feel

BY EMMA JEAN VATNSDAL

Set near the end of Broadway’s run of one-of-a-kind stores lies the granddaddy of them all. Inside and out, it’s reminiscent of tourist-town shops in Minnesota’s lake country.

Zandbroz Variety on Broadway in Fargo. (Photo courtesy of Pinterest)

Zandbroz Variety store in downtown Fargo is not your average bookstore.  Brothers Greg and Jeff Danz opened the doors of their first store in May 1989 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Shortly after, in December 1991, Greg, and his wife Renee, opened their doors at 420 N. Broadway in Fargo.

Customers are greeted by rows of cards, stationary and gifts. Photo by Emma Jean Vatnsdal.

Walking into the former soda fountain, customers are greeted by rows upon rows of greeting cards, paper and other small trinkets and toys.  What seems like a kitschy little gift shop turns out to be so much more.

Children toys accent the plethora of books and gifts around Zandbroz Variety Store. Photo by Emma Jean Vatnsdal.
High end dishes unique to Zandbroz are in no short supply. Photo by Emma Jean Vatnsdal.

“We really wanted to find stuff that we would want to buy.” says Greg Danz, “We try bring in different items that we think the local community will like. When we first started, there was nowhere in this area that sold fancy pens or soaps and dishes.  Now we have toys, games, body care, kitchenware and a lot more.  We try to keep evolving and changing with the times. It truly is a variety store.”

Browsing through the body care section of Zandbroz, first-time customers out for a girls day in Fargo, Nicole Paulo, Tangueray Neely and Sierra Robinson, this store was nothing like they have seen before.

“This store is super cute,” says Paulo, “I really love the atmosphere in here.  I feel like I could find a lot of different, fun things for different people here.”

“It almost feels like a fancier Bath and Body Works,” says Robinson.

“It feels almost bohemian chic,” Neely says, “I really like that it isn’t just one specific thing that is here. There is so much more.”

Nicole Paulo, Tangueray Neely and Sierra Robinson out shopping at Zandbroz Variety. Photo by Emma Jean Vatnsdal.
Tangueray Neely. Photo by Emma Jean Vatnsdal.
Nicole Paulo and Sierra Robinson. Photo by Emma Jean Vatnsdal.

Along with the multitudes of gifts, customers have the opportunity to shop the wide variety of books that this store has to offer.

Books upon books line the south wall of Zandbroz bookstore. Photo by Emma Jean Vatnsdal.

“I am a huge book nerd,” says Danz, “so we have a lot of different types of books here.”

Greg Danz near his beloved books. Photo by Emma Jean Vatnsdal.

In its 25th year in downtown Fargo, this family-owned business has brought fun, whimsy and, yes, variety to Broadway Street.  With no plans to leave the Fargo area any time soon, Greg and Renee’s daughter, Josie, has been working hard to take on the family business as her parents are transitioning to retirement

(Emma Jean Vatnsdal is a junior majoring in multimedia journalism at MSUM. She is from Roseau, Minnesota, and is a producer for MSUM’s Campus News program. Contact her at vatnsdalem@mnstate.edu)

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