Well…it’s still a travel thing with this blog anyways! =)

There is more to this next story, but I’m blogging a week’s worth of loving on small business in rural Iowa! Following a daily challenge and have been doing this X3! So, loving on small business in my home town, my “work” COUNTY (O’Brien), and a random town and business in Iowa that I include naturally through my country pilgrim blog! Yep! Totally random and totally rural.

Monday – pick three businesses and share them on social media. CHECK! Times 3 (9 total)

Tuesday – pick a business that is a local artist. (Couldn’t find…but we were busy putting together a free site for all the independent and small businesses in the area to shift to E-Commerce alongside their traditional F2F business sales. So…sorta Check?

Wednesday – Write a Google Review (In my case…I wrote 3!) CHECK! And here they are…

Sammy’s Pizza – Spencer, Iowa


OK…the pizza is out of the box. I’m working on a small town, best little pizza place post and Sammy’s made the A-List.

Think about this international friends. A real, Italian, pizza place in rural IOWA. Yeah…let that sink in. Real — as in — when I walk in the door I have to concentrate because the owners are trying their best to speak English because they are ITALIAN. They are hand tossing the freshly made dough in the back as I sit and watch them do it!! Ok…I can go on and on. Best hidden secret right in downtown Spencer. If you’re on a road trip north, headed to the Iowa Lakes, stop and grab a pizza to go. Worth it!


Grounded – Hartley, Iowa


I love this place. You’ll have to check out one of the past blogs. It made the “NW IOWA COFFEEHOUSE TOUR”.

I didn’t hesitate to give this place a Google Review.



I have another post coming in the future about this place. Upstairs is a bed and breakfast style suite in DOWNTOWN RURAL PAULINA!! How cool is that? I’m hoping to do an overnight and I’ll blog more about it.

The rest….of the story

Isn’t that what Paul Harvey used to say? So, I did a Google Review on this place because I was wandering around this small rural town, and I stopped to ask a few locals where I could stop for a cup of coffee and a sandwich for lunch? Preferably in downtown because I want to spend money locally and have that money STAY locally!

Serious, this is a concept I hope y’all are grasping.

We travel, we spend, we want that money to stay in the area to stimulate growth and support the local economy. In this case, a few people weren’t sure, and here is a sign on the downtown sidewalk that I nearly tripped over …



I’m picking on the locals. NOT NICE! SORRY!

In short, I stop inside and look around and find out that the owner is serving Chili with fresh Cinnamon Rolls. If you haven’t tried this combo, you are missing a treat! It’s a mouth-watering combination.

Here’s what earned this place the top-notch Country Pilgrim Google Review!

I went to go pay and I was short! I brought out my card to pay via plastic and he didn’t accept credit or debit. I was embarrassed.

He looked at me and smiled and said, “I’ll tell you what…this one’s on me”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? Small town country hospitality right there! I thanked him and enjoyed the lunch with coffee, browsed his shop, and hit an ATM nearby before leaving town and returned to pay with a tip. This place is amazing and if you are into antiques let me show you a few things that caught my eye.


Pretty cool eh? and check out the ceiling…


Naturally, you can see why I’m coming back to stay in his suite upstairs and I’ll give him a blog post worthy of this place.

Meanwhile, if you are traveling in some of these small towns like Paulina, Iowa. I encourage you to stop in and walk the main streets, and pop in a few local shops (like OLD MARKET ANTIQUES) have a conversation with some of the locals and you’ll find that rural NW Iowa is worth a stop! Heck, maybe you even find yourself staying a night or two in a local bed and breakfast and taking in the scenery! Maybe not ‘right at the moment’ because of the time we are living in…but this is the time to plan and look ahead. See what you have in your neck of the woods, go exploring in the small town nearby, and do the same thing! Worth every second!


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