Randall Creamery gets a major face lift

The Old Creamery Quilt Shop opened June 2

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer

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The Old Creamery Quilt Shop in Randall, owned by Linda Thesing and her daughter Janelle Johnson, is open for business and people are excited. The buzz about a local quilt shop in the historic creamery was on everyone’s lips and now that quilters and sewers can actually stop in and peruse the facility, there are smiles all around.

Janelle Johnson, left, and her mother, Linda Thesing, have purchased the Randall Creamery and opened the Old Creamery Quilt Shop. Above, the two stand in an area once used by a creamery employee to count the milk cans being delivered. The area now displays a small percentage of the fabric offered to quilters. Below is a photo of the Randall Creamery in its early days.

“I drove past the building every day when I brought my kids to school,” said Johnson. “I learned it was owned by Sharon and Marlin Frisk of Motley, went to visit them and asked if they would be willing to sell. It was the right time for them.”

Johnson and Thesing had for a long time spoke about owning a quilt shop. When they first saw the interior of the building, they fell in love.

“We saw the possibilities right away,” said Thesing. “I don’t think our husbands did, though.”

In just two weeks from the first meeting, the building was theirs in September 2011. But there was a lot of work ahead for the two entrepreneurs.

The demolition of some areas and the cleaning of all rooms started in December 2011. Walls needed to be removed to create a space for the quilt shop. The cooler was discarded to become the kitchen for the coffee shop. The electric needed to be updated, duct work added for heat and air conditioning, windows needed replacing and so did some floors. Walls had to be sheet rocked.

The floors in the coffee shop and main entry had to be dug up and new cement poured to make them even. A wood floor was also added to the quilt shop area.

“We discovered the Creamery had the first indoor plumbing in town,” said Johnson, who, with her mother, wanted to keep the building as much in its original form as possible.

Besides the 50-year creamery operation (1920 – 1970) on the first floor, the building also housed a community center that held local functions and events back in the day. A ballroom complete with a stage on the second floor was used for suppers and church functions, plays and socials. The building was unique as far as creameries go because of the upstairs area. It is still in a state of remodeling, but little needs to be done.

Glass-block windows replaced the old windows in the coffee shop, but the windows in the quilt shop are the originals.

The Old Creamery Quilt Shop is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

The quilt shop itself offers a large variety of material, threads and other notions for every taste.

The coffee shop offers rolls, muffins, scones and pastries for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch and supper. It also features homemade ice cream and coffee from Reality Roasters in Little Falls.

“We are also the first restaurant in Randall to have a drive-up window,” said Johnson. “Just drive up, ring the bell and we will take your order.”

There are antiques scattered throughout the shops and gifts made by local artisans.

“We are trying to pull in more local artists to have their wares on consignment,” said Thesing.

The rooms are bright due to the oversized windows. The atmosphere is cheerful and colorful. The staff is friendly and accommodating.

Classes will be offered at the Old Creamery Quilt Shop, and not just for quilters. Plans are to incorporate crocheting, knitting, tatting and basic sewing classes.

Thesing and Johnson will also offer yoga classes and massage two days a week each.

For more information, contact the Old Creamery Quilt Shop at (320) 630-9118, e-mail to [email protected] or visit the Web site at www.oldcreameryquiltshop.com.