The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Sheldon’s wrench, the prize of the 15th annual treasure hunt hosted by Smith Coffee & Café in Eden Prairie, has been solved.
An Eden Prairie family discovered Sheldon’s wrench just outside Ballfield No. 5, near the fishing pier in Miller Park, on March 5. As a result of finding the wrench, the family won the grand prize, a $200 gift card to the cafe.
Steve and Alison Stoick and their children Alex, 9, Leila, 7, Everly, 5, and Ben, 4, spent that weekend hunting for the wrench. Alison praised the cleverness of the clues, stating that they had the family thinking well into the evening on March 4.
By Sunday, she said Steve had a strong hunch about the wrench’s location. The Stoicks found it shortly after the seventh and final clue was posted.
“When I texted him the final clue at 1 p.m., he already had the kids digging within just a few feet of where they finally found it,” Alison said via Facebook messenger. “So much fun!”
Interestingly, the Stoick family reported that their metal detectors did not work.
“Even after finding the wrench, we tested it on our metal detectors and NOTHING registered,” she said. “It was way more rewarding finding it the hard way!”
The treasure hunt, named after Sheldon Smith, who built the historic Smith-Douglas-More House that the coffee shop calls home, has participants follow daily clues (seven in all) posted at the shop on Eden Prairie Road to find the wrench hidden in a park in Eden Prairie.
Alex Schuster, the manager of Smith Coffee & Café, explained that the annual treasure hunt, which began on Feb. 27 this year, generates more interest each year and is a fun way to bring people together during the winter months. The location of the wrench changes annually, and Schuster keeps the identity of the hider a secret to ensure fairness for all participants.
“The reason we kind of keep it a secret on who does it is because we want to make sure everyone feels like it’s really fair,” he said. “So no one corners someone in the parking lot and [says]‘Blink twice if it’s here.'”
Schuster was surprised at how long it took the participants to locate the wrench, noting that they had been searching the area where it was eventually found for about four days, and some were off by about 10-15 feet.
“The big snowstorm the week before really covered everything more than I planned on,” he said.
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