Small Business Saturday feature: Plains Trading Company |

Small Business Saturday feature: Plains Trading Company

Yvonne Hollenbeck
for Tri-State Livestock News
Books - the store's foundation - still line the shelves and walls of Plains Trading Company.

Have you ever dreamed of a one-stop shop in small town America where you could purchase the perfect gift for anyone ranging from grandchildren to grandparents? Yes, there really is such a place, called “The Plains Trading Company,” located on Main Street in Valentine, Nebraska.

What started in 1992 as a small book shop in a complex of shops, called “Towne Square,” soon grew to what is now one of the finest and most complete book stores and gift shops in the upper plains, and is the envy of many in large metropolitan areas. Although the store carries a great amount of Western, Native American, and local history books, one can find anything from religious, cooking, crafts and quilting, modern-day best sellers, and ever popular vintage books such as those by Mari Sandoz or Nellie Snyder Yost. There is a large department of children’s books as well as educational toys for the younger set. Speaking of educational items, a large and well stocked annex to the rear of the building houses a “Teacher’s Store” which has become a go-to source for area teachers.

When Duane Gudgel, son of an area rancher, and his wife, Darlene Meyer, a registered nurse, first decided to open a little book shop, little did they know how successful their business would become. Each year new items were added, not only the book department, but the gift area was expanded. Many of the gift items are locally made products, such as some of the unique and beautiful Native American art works; the ever growing variety of Nebraska vineyards are represented in the wine section, and occasionally the store will host a wine-testing venue to introduce the fine products to its customers. Gourmet coffees and a great selection of teas are also available, as is the finest of candles and natural products from “Burt’s Bees” and other unique gift items.

In the event you are not in the Valentine area and in need of a special book or gift item, Plains Trading Company offers online shopping at or you can visit them on Facebook. You can count on friendly service as you find gifts to please everyone on your gift list.