RED WING, Minn. (KTTC) – An iconic Minnesota store is shutting its doors after more than a century. The owners of Red Wing Stoneware Company announced they’ve sold their manufacturing and retail building this fall.
Customers near and far are rushing to the historic pottery store before it goes dark.
“It’s been busy,” said Irene Johnson who owns the store with her husband Bruce. “Internet orders, phone orders, people in the store, much more than we expected.”
The store has been around since 1877, known for its artistic handmade potteries.
The husband and wife business duo rescued the company from closing when they bought it six years ago. But other business opportunities and health problems are why they say it’s time to go.
“This business means a lot to me because I worked here for ten years before we bought it,” said Johnson. “Its become like a part of me….It’s very special.”
The customers agree.
Rebecca Bodnarczuk and her sister Kris Shields traveled from Anoka County, about an hour and a half drive from the store to visit for the last time.
“Very glad that we could be here today,” said Bodnarczuk. “Red Wing pottery is where we would come with our family. Mom and dad would bring us down here.”
“We found pottery in the ‘second room’ that had East St. Olaf Lutheran Church, which is where my mother grew up, she grew up on a farm in the Rock Dell area so it was kind of like Oh my gosh! That’s so cool! The sisters noted that their mother passed away two years ago and that this visit was very special to them.
While it’s an end of an era for the Johnsons, Irene says she hopes customers will enjoy the handmade stoneware for decades to come.
The company officially moves out of the building on Oct. 1. The owners say they’ll post updates on their products on social media.