In the heart of downtown Ames lies a children's specialty store unlike any other. There are very few toy stores left like this in The United States and customer service is our specialty along with a friendly return policy. We carry a wide variety of toys, books, and clothing and we are happy to help assist you in finding the perfect item. We are a family business consisting of three generations. Emily Munson opened The Pumpkin Patch in 1978 with the desire to share wonderful, quality-made toys with the residents of Iowa. We are saddened to announce that Emily passed away on November 25th of 2019 after a brave fight against pancreatic cancer. Her spirited presence, creative vision, and warm heart are missed every day by her loving family and loyal customers. She left the legacy of her shop to her daughter, Susan Owen, and granddaughter, Sarah Mesenbrink. Together, they attend gift markets and toy fairs to bring in the best toys to The Pumpkin Patch. We hope you will enjoy our shop and can take a trip down memory lane when entering the store.
Meet The Owners
Dr. Alan Munson is a retired physician from McFarland Clinic and Emily Munson was a Speech Pathologist. Outside of their regular jobs they found much joy and happiness in running such a special store so near and dear to their hearts. In his free time, Alan can be found gardening and caring for the rare plants located in his greenhouse. Besides being a shopkeeper and a speech pathologist, Emily loved swimming, playing piano, hosting parties, participating in church, and most importantly being an amazing wife, mother, and grandmother. Together they created a store founded on values of family, imagination, and unity.
Meet The Employees
Susan Owen is a former educator that taught Kindergarten as well as at The University of Kansas. Susan knows the book room better than anyone else and can provide the perfect suggestions. Susan stays busy as she divides her time between managing the store and teaching at The University of Iowa Medical School. She is the best organizer out there! Susan also runs all of the Etiquette courses as well as birthday parties that we offer at The Pumpkin Patch. Ask her for more information when you're in, they have both been a huge success!
Sarah Mesenbrink, a third generation "Pumpkin Patcher" brings youth and a beautiful smile to our store. She recently graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education with a special education endorsement and has taken a job as a Kindergarten teacher with Ogden Elementary School. Sarah has a love for children and it shows each day she works in the store. Sarah can provide you with great toy suggestions and the perfect books for every age.
Karen Tuttle, like Emily, is a former Speech Pathologist whose expertise with books, toys, and clothing is matched only by her smile. Karen can give you excellent suggestions, as she has bought many of our items for her own grandchildren! Karen has one of the kindest hearts and you will quickly learn this as you visit with her.
Becky Senti, our longest-serving clerk, has a Masters in Education and worked for several years in the Ames school districts' Talented and Gifted Program. Through her years of experience in the store, she is able to provide valuable information about all of the toys. Becky is quite the traveler as well. Ask her about her most recent trips when you're in!
Jill Lowman, a veteran employee at The Pumpkin Patch, was a kindergarten teacher for several years here in Ames. In her free time, Jill enjoys cooking and crafting. Jill loves to read as well and is very knowledgable when it comes to children's books. Jill is a delight and is great at giving suggestions for the perfect gifts!
Eva Anderson came to work at The Pumpkin Patch towards the end of 2019. She graduated from Gilbert High School and began nursing studies at Luther College in the fall of 2020. Her favorite part about working at the shop is greeting every guest with a happy smile and managing the social media pages. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, rollerblading, and listening to music. Come in while she's working to hear her exciting Disney playlist playing throughout the store!
Sue is a former speech pathologist. She enjoys playing with her dog, reading, and traveling with her husband. Sue's favorite part of working at The Pumpkin Patch is seeing and hearing the joy of children as they discover the "magic" the store has to offer. She also enjoys hearing adults relive childhood memories of The Pumpkin Patch. Sue would love to guide you in buying that perfect gift!
Mavis taught second grade for many years at the Ames Schools. She enjoys running, biking, reading, and traveling. The best activity of course would be spending time with her family. Mavis thinks The Pumpkin Patch is such a fun place to be as everyone that comes in loves the store and is so upbeat! She can offer many gifts ideas considering all of the gifts she has given to her five grandchildren.