HANNA CITY, Ill. (WMBD) – Chuck and Judi Zilch are constantly on the hunt to add to their collections.
“It’s really the thrill of the find,” said Chuck. “When you’re out buying and it’s kind of a rush to be able to find unique things.”
The husband and wife team own the South Eden Village Mall in Hanna City. About 38 vendors rent out space in the 25,000 square feet building and sell just about everything you can think of.
“You know when they used to say the saying, ‘You can find everything including the kitchen sink.’ We have had the kitchen sink from time to time,” Judi laughed.
The idea for a vendor mall started with Chuck.
“I was watching auctions and I studied them,” said Chuck. “And I saw that there’s potential to do this kind of stuff because there was always a deal. It wasn’t always what you went for, but there was a deal there.”
Judi supported him along the way.
“My husband’s a dreamer, but I’ve worked retail all my life,” she said. “He decided that we should buy this [space], which I thought he was crazy because when you see this building empty, it’s insanely large.”
With Chuck’s dream and Judi’s background in retail, the couple have weathered the last 20 years in business together, including a global pandemic.
“It’s been ups and downs just like everything, like last year, but you know through it all, you just push through,” Judi said.
The two have navigated moves and operational changes over the years. The pandemic pushed Chuck and Judi to establish an online presence and curbside service for South Eden Village Mall.
Chuck said, “We’ve all had to go to purchasing online just like the auctioneers had to go to selling online.”
In the midst of it all, the Zilches are hoping to continue to be a destination spot to support local business in Central Illinois.
Judi said, “God has been good. He’s blessed us. And we’re just happy to be here.”
South Eden Village Mall is located at 412 S. Eden Rd. in Hanna City.