It's a gas station! It's a general store! It's a petting zoo?
For years we had heard about "the gas station petting zoo in Oconomowoc" and recently, feeling curious and a bit skeptical that such a combination could exist, we made the jaunt to check it out.
The Concord General Store/Mobil Gas Station/Concord Petting Zoo is actually located seven miles from Oconomowoc in the town of Sullivan. It has 10 gas pumps, two of which are ethanol-free for filling up old cars, boats and vehicles with smaller motors.
The store features the usual chips-and-pop munchies along with a large selection of Wisconsin products from cheese curds to pickles to Anodyne Coffee. They also have a deli, cafe – called the Moose Cafe – and a liquor section brimming with Wisconsin wines and beers. There's also a locally-brewed kombucha on tap and a lot of taxidermy animals.
The shop opened in 2004 and Jody Stiemke has worked there as a cashier for 10 years.
"We have a lot of 'good for you' things from Wisconsin," says Stiemke.
The petting zoo, which is about an acre or so and home to about 30 animals – sheep, goats, miniature horses, donkeys, alpacas, cows, pigs, chickens, ducks and a peacock – is free, but donations are encouraged. We recommend buying carrots from the cashier to feed the goats and horses. We found it very cute and maintained, more like a family farm than a "zoo." I bought a peacock feather for $1 on my way out. And there are adorable tiny houses for kids to explore.
Going to the general store/gas station/petting zoo is definitely worth a half-day trip from Milwaukee. Where else can you gas up, eat a bunch of organic food and feed an alpaca on the same lot?
"People have a lot of fun here," says Stiemke.
Here are 12 more photos from this quirky and delightful place:
Local sweets and dills
Carrot life cont'd
Carrot lyfe 4-ever
No interest in carrots whatsoever
Oh schtop it
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