Staff Directory 10644811

John Ewoldt

Reporter | Consumer news
Phone: 612-673-7633
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

John Ewoldt is a business reporter for the Star Tribune. He writes about small and large retailers including supermarkets, restaurants, consumer issues and trends, and personal finance.  


A Midwesterner who grew up in Nebraska, went to college in South Dakota, and taught school in Iowa and Minnesota before becoming a consumer reporter, Ewoldt lives in Minneapolis with his partner. He likes looking for a bargain wherever he may be but is learning restraint to avoid hoarder status. He's starting to believe that maybe less is more.
Recent content from John Ewoldt
Hy-Vee’s newest store, in Maple Grove, will open Tuesday.

Hy-Vee opens its 12th Twin Cities store in Maple Grove on Tuesday

Expansion has slowed, but CEO says commitment to this area will continue.
Smaaash at the Mall of America has closed.

Mall of America loses major tenant Smaaash go-karts

The company never expanded in the U.S. as imagined after the MOA location opened.
Shown is the Oakdale Cub Foods.

Sale of Cub stores expected early next year, new owner says

United Natural Foods Inc. did not name a buyer, just the timeline of the expected sale.
Alan Noot. (Courtesy Candace Noot)

Genealogy detective found millions of dollars for lost heirs

Alan Noot lived life challenging the phrase “no known heirs.” As a forensic genealogist for nearly 40 years who scoured cemeteries, census film and vital…
Store employees say they have been told the Gander Outdoors in Eden Prairie is closing.

Gander Outdoors closing stores in Eden Prairie, Bemidji

Employees said store would join Bemidji location in shutting down as owners shift toward RVs.
An Impossible veggie burger at Union Depot Bar and Grill in St. Paul. Alt meats appeal to “flexitarians,” who seek more fruits and veggies, but al

Growth of faux meat in Twin Cities coming from – gasp! – meat eaters

Plant-based alternatives are popping up in more Twin Cities restaurants and groceries.
Famous Dave's will open a new restaurant in Uptown in the location at 800 W. Lake St. that's now home to New Bohemia.

Slimmer Famous Dave's BBQ will reopen in Uptown in New Bohemia space

The smaller prototype is the second in the country for Famous Dave's.
Honeycrisp apples begin the process of being cleaned, sorted and boxed for shipment to high-end retailers at the Pepin Heights facility in Lake City,

Why are Honeycrisp apples still so expensive?

One of the University of Minnesota's most profitable inventions continues to be a best-seller despite its top-priced status.
Canada Goose, the upscale outerwear company, is opening its first store in Minnesota at the Mall of America. This is the view from the cold room that

Canada Goose to open a Mall of America store, with a room set at -13F

Five other retailers will open soon at the mall, including Legacy Toys and a Duluth Trading Co.
At center, from left, Hell’s Kitchen co-owners Steve Meyer and Cynthia Gerdes posed with restaurant staffers on Wednesday along with Meyer’s wife,

Hell's Kitchen owners sell their restaurant to employees

Co-owner Cynthia Gerdes blazes a creative exit that carries some risk.
Sunglasses on display at Warby Parker inside Askov Finlayson.

Warby Parker eyewear, J.W. Hulme, Nic + Zoe all joining Edina's Galleria this fall

Warby Parker among three opening this fall.
Buffalo Wild Wings will allow sports betting in some of its restaurants this fall, relying on a partnership with MGM Resorts International.

Buffalo Wild Wings adds sports gambling in partnership with MGM Resorts

The restaurant chain will test sports betting in New Jersey in coming weeks.
West Elm will open a store in the first floor of this development at 128 N. 2nd St. in the Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood.

West Elm furniture will open in North Loop next year

Furnishing retailer's plan to open hotels appears to be up in the air.
Hy-Vee's Fast & Fresh concept, shown here in an Iowa location, adds fresh products with grab-and-go meals and other convenience items.

Hy-Vee thinks smaller, offers no update on five proposed large format stores

Its Fast & Fresh store in Lakeville is its first small-format store, but it has no updates on big stores.
Shoppers at the Good Things tent, a Twin Cities retailer making its first appearance at the Minnesota State Fair this year.

Minnesota State Fair is a magnet that some small retailers use the entire year

A booth can bring business to brick-and-mortar stores long after event has run its course.
The Aldi in Uptown has a feature that’s rare for the chain: shopping baskets. Executives believe the store will attract more customers who come on f

Shopping baskets at no-frills Aldi? Only at new Uptown store — so far

Many will walk, bike or bus to shop and will not need a cart, company official says.
The new Prince store at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport sells music, books, apparel and other souvenirs of the late superstar musician.

Prince store at MSP gives travelers a glimpse at superstar's Minnesota life

Terminal shop organized around parts of Minnesota musician's life to lure fans.
In 2003, store manager Jim Callahan stands on the huge sales floor among the ranges at ApplianceSmart Factory Outlet.

ApplianceSmart has closed three of its Minnesota stores; two remain open

The company became a victim of more retailers selling appliance closeouts.
Famous Dave's saw more of its franchisees adopt recent menu and decor innovations.

Famous Dave's franchisees embrace some of its menu and decor changes

Menu, decor changes adopted earlier at corporate locations.
Coborns will stop grocery deliveries in the Twin Cities.

Coborn's will stop deliveries in metro area, redirect customers to Cub

Grocery chain will close its New Hope warehouse, direct metro customers to Cub service.
Dick Enrico

Dick Enrico has yet another business idea up his sleeve

The serial entrepreneur, known best for his 2nd Wind chain that sold used exercise equipment, is selling off his patio furniture business and replacing it with Shady Deal Depot liquidation stores.
Emma Grede, co-founder of Good American, the Los Angeles fashion brand that opened a store on the second floor of the Mall of America Tuesday.

Good American's size-inclusive brand lands at Mall of America

The L.A.-based label is testing out a store through the holiday season.
The new Barnes & Noble at Cityplace in Woodbury is about 10,000 feet smaller than one of its typical stores.

Barnes & Noble thinks smaller may be better at new Woodbury store

The new smaller store adds more space for kids and young adult books but has less space for music.
One of the two Aldi stores opening next month in the Twin Cities is in this mixed-use development at W. 26th St. and Lyndale Avenue S. in Minneapolis.

Aldi will open two Twin Cities stores in August, five more this fall

With new locations under construction, the German chain is closing in on Cub.
Legacy Toys, with stores in Ely and Duluth, plans to fill Creative Kidstuff's spaces in the Galleria and Ridgedale.

Ely-based toy store will open in Creative Kidstuff spaces in Galleria, Ridgedale

Legacy Toys is coming to Ridgedale and Galleria, which will add other stores this year.
In 1994, Duane Smith, at right, held framed seed art created by Tweety Canary, (in cage, - left) which he disqualified from the State Fair crop art ex

Duane Smith, who popularized crop art exhibits at Minnesota State Fair, dies at 91

"He wanted to showcase the seed art for the average city person far removed from agriculture," said Ellen Yantes, his daughter.
‘The old-fashioned way’: Mike and Megan Tamte, who started Evereve 15 years ago, said they wanted to build their business without using debt. “E

Ever-profitable, Edina-based Evereve bucks retail odds by betting on moms, career women

With 85 stores in 26 states, 20% sales increases and no debt, Evereve is pushing an unprecedented and aggressive expansion of the brand.
Tony Parker.

NBA star Tony Parker to lead sports division of Mpls.-based financial planning firm

Parker joins former Viking Brooks Bollinger in the sports unit of Minneapolis-based NorthRock.
Allison Gettings wore a pair of Vasque Breeze Lite hiking shoes. Behind her is Red Wing, the town where she grew up.

Meet the woman who made Red Wing Shoes an international fashion statement

If the shoe fits, thank Allison Gettings, who helped tailor Red Wing's Heritage line to women.
Growth has to be strategic, not growing just to grow, say small Top Workplaces winners

Growth has to be strategic, not growing just to grow, say small Top Workplaces winners

Well-managed growth also serves as a recruitment tool in a tight job market.
Shakes from Snuffy’s Malt Shop stand at CHS Stadium, new home of the Saints.

Snuffy's Malt Shop to close after 36 years in St. Paul

Its three other Twin Cities locations will stay open.
Ridgedale Mall will test a community garden for malls owned by Brookfield Properties. It will kickoff the project with an event at the mall on June 15

Ridgedale to become one of the first U.S. malls to add a community garden

The garden is separate from a small park that's also being built at Ridgedale.
File photo of a Sears Outlet department store in Norristown, Pa. Sears parent firm is once again buying Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, which were s

Sears plans to merge with its hometown and outlet stores

The move will affect one Sears Outlet and 10 hometown stores throughout Minnesota.
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s fashion business will open a store at the Mall of America.

What's new in local malls? Sarah Jessica Parker tries out Mall of America

Mall of America and other malls get creative to fill spaces and address retail churn.
Surly founder Omar Ansari, who changed local liquor laws and the craft beer industry itself, raised a glass with his marketing director, Holly Manthei

Surly and other craft breweries target regional, not national expansion

Omar Ansari draws crowds to his Surly beers, the brewery and retail promotional events around the state. But when David and Emily Josephson showed up…
The latest app-based landscape service to arrive in the Twin Cities, Green Pal, contracts with local mowing operations to provide on-demand response a

Time crunched as lawn grows? Landscaping apps blanket Twin Cities

GreenPal uses existing landscapers to bid on properties based on Google Street, aerial images and other details supplied by the homeowner.
Famous Dave's is seeing a payoff from restaurant renovations, modeled on this one in Coon Rapids, but its first-quarter profit came under pressure and

Famous Dave's takes hit in first quarter but says it's seeing payoff in new strategy

New look with smaller footprint may make its way to the Twin Cities.
Cub store manger Mike Gruwell left and Cub's new CEO Mike Stigers walked the space at the new Cub's grand opening Thursday May 2, 2019 in Minneapolis,

Cub's new CEO talks about the supermarket's future and a possible sale

Executive says Supervalu's new owner still hopes one buyer will emerge for the 79-store chain.
From left: Cathy ten Broeke, Robert Lilligren and Jonelle Glubke stood on Franklin Avenue, near the former site of a homeless encampment along Hiawath

Should you give money to people on the street? Homelessness experts weigh in

To give or not to give? That's the question many of us struggle with as we see a person holding a cardboard sign at freeway exits or along busy pedestrian malls.
Timothy Fisher

Tim Fisher, an advocate in the Lutheran church for LGBT people, dies

Fisher died April 23 in his home after a six-year struggle with pulmonary sarcoma. He was 54.
The new Cub store at E. 46th Street and Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis will feature 12 grab-and-go concept stations, including a popcorn and candy sta

Cub to open its first 'urban' concept, a smaller store built for speedier shopping

Cub's new store aims to provide better shopping experience amid changing consumer tastes
Dave Ramsey spoke to a sold-out crowd at Eagle Brook Church in Lino Lakes.

Pop star of personal finance, Dave Ramsey uses gruff love to lead others out of debt

Ramsey ushered in a new model for assisting younger adults, people who have made mistakes and anyone tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
Creative Kidstuff, a popular Twin Cities retailer, is closing all its locations, including this one in St. Louis Park.

Creative Kidstuff closing all stores by end of June

The popular Twin Cities store sold toys to inspire and engage children's creativity for 40 years.
The use of digital demographics “is going to get more disruptive in the next three years,” said Lori Zumwinkle, a managing director at Accenture.

Accenture says more businesses will personalize experiences based on online interests

Technology consultant says more businesses will be personalizing experiences based on online interests.
Scheherazade Jewelers in Edina's Galleria abruptly shut down after a co-owner filed for bankruptcy.

Galleria jeweler Scheherazade closes suddenly due to bankruptcy filing

The store saw less customer traffic after it moved to a new location in the mall.
Betty VanGorder, who co-owns the Pet Garage with her husband Tom Olney, thought of the idea for the shop after fostering animals for the Humane Societ

Maple Grove pet shop is a rarity, signals a new niche in resale retailing

Maple Grove retailer tapped a healthy market buying and reselling pet supplies
Lunds & Byerlys grocery store.

Lunds & Byerlys coming to St. Paul's Grand Avenue retail corridor

Grocer plans to anchor a mixed-use development at former Knowlan's site.

Famous Dave's latest profit exceeds expectations, but franchise sales still sluggish

It hopes to persuade more franchisees to spend on needed upgrades.
Ben Trapskin of Sleep Sherpa is successfully straddling the new world of mattress sales, with one foot online and one foot in brick-and-mortar stores.

Mattress sales bounce between stores and online shoppers who try them at home

Retailers' fortunes vary as consumers' habits shift in the search for a good night's sleep.
Jean Andrews

Jean Andrews, nurse who advocated for torture victims, dies at 91

She became a booster for post-high school education for her relatives, friends and others.
Rendering shows what the combined Gabberts, HOM and Dock 86 site will be like in Bloomington.

Gabberts will leave Galleria as HOM builds Bloomington flagship

The new megacenter will be larger than the one in Little Canada with HOM, Gabberts and Dock 86.
Shoppers at the Mall of America.

Retailer Charlotte Russe closing 96 stores, including in MOA and Burnsville Center

Sales at Mall of America, Burnsville Center to begin.
Customer Kristen Jonet, left, watched “Tidying Up” and cleaned her closet, bringing her discards in to sell to Cat Polivoda.

After watching Marie Kondo, Minnesotans empty houses and fill resale shops

Inspired by book and TV show, folks purging closets, filling store shelves.
GoodThings gift shops owner Tyler Conrad uses software designed for retailers to inform buying. “My cash flow has dramatically improved,” he said.

How a Twin Cities gift store learned to predict sales

GoodThings uses a sophisticated inventory analysis tool that has changed how it buys and prices products.
The Minnesota Zoo is closing its Imax theater.

Imax closing the Minnesota Zoo theater, which has the state's largest movie screen

State of the art when it opened, the theater might have suffered from a lack of more modern amenities.
Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood is in flux, with the former Victoria’s Secret location for lease and North Face and Columbia departing soon.

Store closings not just a mall problem as Uptown, Grand Av. feel the pinch

Parking shortages, along with higher rents, property taxes and minimum wages put pressure on small retailers. "I'm concerned when I see stores like Bibelot closing and condos coming in," one shopper said.
A logo sign outside of a Shopko Hometown retail store in Kiel, Wisconsin, on June 24, 2018.

Five Shopko stores in Minnesota will close as the retailer files for bankruptcy

Minnesota stores affected in the latest closings include two full-sized stores, in Fairmont and on Hwy. 63 in Rochester.
Roxy Freese, owner of Bibelot shops, left, with Tyler and Sharon Conrad, co-owners of GoodThings gift shops. GoodThings is buying two Bibelot location

GoodThings will buy two Bibelot stores; others remain on the block

GoodThings to take over one store in St. Paul and another in Minneapolis.
Hy-Vee recalled cheesecakes that come in a variety of flavors over fears they may be contaminated with salmonella.

Hy-Vee recalls cheesecakes on salmonella fear

Hy-Vee Inc. voluntarily recalled cheesecakes because of the potential of salmonella contamination.No illnesses had been reported as of Friday when the supplier notified Hy-Vee of…
An entire row of stores sits nearly empty in the half-full development called the Promenade, part of the Albertville Premium Outlets.

One side thrives, other barely survives at Albertville outlet mall

In the past five years, nearly 20 stores have closed or moved to the busier Plaza side of the outlet center. The Promenade now has a few national anchors riding it out with locally owned stores.
Amy Keohane, left, of Prior Lake, and her daughter Michelle Keohane of Minneapolis shopped for gifts at Holly House Boutique in Burnsville Center.

For last-minute holiday shoppers, see what's new in 7 Twin Cities malls

It’s almost Christmas — is it time to start shopping? More than one-third of holiday shoppers say they have barely started shopping or have a…
As it downsizes, Shopko is selling pharmacy records to other retailers, including Hy-Vee and Kroger.

Hy-Vee acquires some Shopko pharmacies in Minnesota, nearby states

Hy-Vee said Friday it will acquire patient files of 22 Shopko pharmacies in Minnesota and four other states. The deal comes just days after Shopko…
A boy looks at jellyfish in an aquarium at a SeaQuest attraction. The fast-growing developer of mall attractions is building an aquarium and wildlife

Rosedale mall will open a two-story aquarium next spring

The aquarium will be run by SeaQuest Holdings, a fast-growing firm that has animal attractions in seven other malls.
Silvian Sundrum

Twin Cities educator Silvian Sundrum dies at 78

Over a career that climaxed at St. Margaret's Academy in Golden Valley and Benilde-St. Margaret's in St. Louis Park, he fostered curiosity and skepticism of authority.
Dean Pass and students from Cambridge Primary school carried a 7-foot Fraser after cutting it at Wolcyn Tree Farm Thursday December 6, 2018 in Cambrid

Minn. tree growers say Amazon can't keep up with their product

With a click instead of an ax, Amazon shoppers can spend about $110 for a 6- to 7-foot spruce, Fraser or Balsam fir that will be delivered to your doorstep in a cardboard box within two to five days. Minnesota tree growers think they're well positioned to face the new competition.
Cousins Subs plans to add 20 or more Twin Cities locations over the next three to four years.

Cousins Subs plans big return to Twin Cities after 2015 exit

The company closed five locations here in 2015 but promises a refreshed concept.
Sales ads for the Friday after Thanksgiving continue to highlight TVs, such as these on display at Walmart in Fridley.

On Black Friday, TVs still get shoppers through the doors

Even retailers not known for selling electronics often include them in their Thanksgiving Day circulars.
Men’s boutique Martin Patrick 3, in Minneapolis’ North Loop, created a window display with a naughty and nice theme to draw holiday shoppers.

Local retailers band together on Small Business Saturday

Now in its ninth year, Small Business Saturday is growing in size, getting creative to draw shoppers.
Famous Dave’s in Coon Rapids was the pilot location for a dramatically expanded menu that debuted in April with some customer favorites.

Famous Dave's profit beats expectation as turnaround continues for company-owned BBQs

A revamp with new menu items has paid off for company-owned restaurants, with sales increasing 2.1 percent in the third quarter.
The Bibelot shop in Linden Hills, one of four Twin Cities locations.

Twin Cities Bibelot gift stores closing

After 52 years, the owner of the four neighborhood stores has decided to retire.
Aldi is opening a second store in Richfield.

Aldi and Sierra Trading Post will replace Babies 'R' Us in Richfield

The new stores represent more success for the center, which has endured several retail bankruptcies.
While Supervalu is looking to sell all of its Cub locations, the company is still opening and remodeling stores, such as its Chanhassen location.

Cub execs hope to sell to one buyer; Hy-Vee not interested

The search for a buyer for the Twin Cities' biggest grocery chain is just starting.
The Peloton showroom at the Galleria in Edina, opening Nov. 8, will have the company's new internet-connected treadmill, called Tread and priced at ne

High-end, high-tech Peloton fitness equipment launches into the Galleria

Edina location will add apparel, offer more high-end machines than the company's MOA kiosk.
The dining area of the new Hy-Vee in Robbinsdale, with nearly 230 seats, is the largest in the grocery chain.

Hy-Vee throws in a twist in Twin Cities expansion, remodeling a former Cub in Plymouth

Twin Cities fulfillment center for online orders will open in September. The location and number of employees needed have yet to be announced, but the size is expected to be about 90,000 square feet.
Jim Pessek purchased this watercolor of a Red Owl city store prototype from a person who rescued it from a dumpster in the Red Owl distribution center

Minn. man wants to reopen his town's former Red Owl store as museum

Jim Pessek hopes to gather support at the annual Red Owl employee reunion in November.