Rochester Local

6 Reasons to Make the Drive to Sterling Home & Toys in Austin

This post is sponsored by Sterling Home & Toys

sterling home & toys
Sterling Home & Toys | Austin, MN

Southeast Minnesota is *full* of gems. When we find those little gems in and around Rochester, we love sharing them with Rochester Local readers. Let us tell you about our new-to-us find — Sterling Home & Toys in Austin, MN.

You might have heard people call it Sterling Pharmacy or Sterling Drug. We are calling it a good reason to make the drive (outside of visiting the Spam Museum again).

Here’s a brief backstory to Sterling Home & Toys: Sterling Pharmacy was founded in 1952 by Leonard Astrup, and this family-run company has been innovating ways to meet the needs of its patients.  They expanded to Sterling Home & Toys to better serve the customers walking through its doors. The pharmacy remains an independent community pharmacy and saw the opportunity to bring more to its community in a creative and niche way.

We recently made the short drive from Rochester to Sterling Home & Toys in Austin to see what makes this shop so special. It had been several years since our last visit and we couldn’t wait to see what had changed.

First impression: huge!  We couldn’t believe how much was housed under one roof.  We took time to explore each of the departments and put together our highlights list for you.

Before talking about all the verdant green goods you can decorate your home with, we have to mention the benefits of being a Sterling Home & Toys Member. Signing up takes about 2 minutes here and you earn 1 point for every $1 you spend in the store, and get a reward coupon for every 300 points you earn. There are deals every week on various items in the store, online-only deals exclusive to Sterling Home & Toys in Austin, and double points if you are a pharmacy customer.

Home Decor

sterling home & toys
Sterling Home & Toys – Home Decor | Austin, MN

Walking into Sterling Home & Toys in Austin you are greeted by a beautiful display of their home decor and furniture, and we were shocked by the quality of their selection of rugs, pillows, planters, and real and artificial plants and floral arrangements. So many great wall decorations were found as well as beautifully framed mirrors. One of our favorite finds was that they can make customized pillows!

sterling home & toys
Sterling Home & Toys -Home Decor | Austin, MN


Not only is every endcap and corner filled with delicious-looking mixes, dips, and gourmet foods, but beautiful dishware, gadgets, pans, and bakeware accompany them. Lovely Minnesota-themed hand towels and kitchen goods are a surprise to find and delightful. There is something for everyone in their kitchen section, and our favorite find was the Fruit Infusion water pitcher. It has a special section for fresh fruit in the middle to infuse your water with for some quenching goodness this summer.


Home Fragrances

sterling home & toys
Sterling Home & Toys -Home Fragrance | Austin, MN

When having company over the last thing you want them to do is open the door and be greeted with the smell of stinky shoes, or worse, stinky dogs (you know it’s happened to you). Sterling Home & Toys has an abundance of aroma assortments to appease anyone’s olfactory! From decorative pillar candles to essential oils and diffusers there was a scent that everyone in our group found as a new favorite. One bonus we found was the Airomé diffusers offering a wide range of devices for matching your decor. One hidden gem that we found was the Monster-Go-Away Spray which is guaranteed to keep all monsters, minions, and bad dreams away with the scent of lavender, lime, and citrus.



sterling home & toys
Sterling Home & Toys – Clothing | Austin, MN

Your home now smells good enough to never leave, your kitchen is well stocked, and your home is on point with the decor, what else could there be to meander through and look at? Clothing! Walking around the clothing section you forget where you are and instead find yourself in a boutique shop that you would find in a more metropolitan spot. Everything from casual to classy to date night appropriate can be found, as well as the perfect accessories and jewelry to accompany your new outfit. Handbags, tote bags, wallets, phone accessories: they have it all! One fun surprise find we encountered was all the pickleball-themed clothing and accessories. We can neither confirm nor deny our wild attempts at pickleball, and showing up at the court with some of these fun threads is in our near future!

sterling home & toys
sterling home & toys



sterling home & toys
Sterling Home & Toys – Home Decor | Austin, MN

If only there was a chaise lounge I could flop too out of exhaustion from all the things we discovered on this excursion. Oh wait, there is one! Chairs, sofas, coffee tables, lamps, and so much more to discover for your home awaits. With an ever-rotating selection of furniture, the only advice we can give is to visit often to see what new selections await for adoption to a forever home. After a few minutes of rest and recovery on the chaise, I was brought to my feet by a pleasing and familiar aroma. And much like Tom from Tom and Jerry, It felt like the aroma of coffee lifted me into the air and beckoned me to the counter to order some of that life-enhancing elixir.


The Coffee Bar

Our excursion could not be complete without a caffeine boost from the coffee bar. All their coffee is made from beans roasted by Alakef Coffee Roasters in Duluth, MN. All of your favorite recipes are here: drip coffee, latte, mocha, cappuccino, and more. But what about non-caffeine options? Our kids found their tastebuds excited by the Italian Soda option (sparkling water, flavoring, and a dash of cream). They have so many flavors to choose from for the Italian Sodas, and you can even mix and match! On our next visit, we will make the wise decision of not eating a meal before coming so that we have room for the delicious ice cream at the coffee bar.



If all of this hasn’t convinced you to make the drive to Austin and visit, then our other article that highlights the toy department of Sterling Home & Toys will!  It will be enough to get the car loaded up and burning rubber down I-90 toward Austin.


Related posts

12 Ideas for a Summer Date Night in #RochMN

Blair Sharp

5 Budget Friendly Date Ideas for Spring

Portia Tebandeke

Rochester MN Bingo Roundup