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
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.
“Their goal is advertising. The state benefits from everyone seeing the winner. But anyone who wins that much money is a moving target.”
Spencer M

Why lottery winners can't stay anonymous in Minnesota

One state senator says she would sponsor a bill to allow anonymity.
Terri McEnaney, president of Bailey Nurseries, right, stands with Jon Bartch, general manager of Carlton Plants and her cousin, at the Bailey office i

Bailey Nurseries moves into top 5 grower position after Oregon nursery acquisition

Cottage Grove company will be in top five in U.S. tree and shrub production.

Financial Planning Day event Oct. 27 in St. Paul to focus on everyday money challenges

The free financial event includes 1-on-1 advice and mini-sessions on retirement and investing.
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Hy-Vee recalls meat, potato foods for possible salmonella, listeria contamination

Hy-Vee is voluntarily recalling five meat products and one potato item due to possible contamination with Salmonella and Listeria. The fresh, not frozen, products include…
In a photo provided by Instacart, the company demonstrates a grocery delivery. The firm is now partnering with Lunds & Byerlys to offer speedier deliv

Lunds & Byerlys now offering Instacart service from its 27 Twin Cities stores

The supermarket chain will continue to offer its own delivery service and pickup at select stores.
The Sears store on Rice Street in St. Paul opened in August 1963.

Sears stores at Ridgedale, near St. Paul Capitol on closing list

The Twin Cities metro will have one full-line Sears — at the Mall of America.
A lounging piano area at the new Von Maur store in Roseville on Wednesday.

Rosedale's new anchor tenant, Von Maur, expands as others shrink

The new anchor is part of an $80 million expansion for Rosedale Center
A piano sits in a lounging area at the new Von Maur store at Rosedale Center in Roseville.

Rare event these days: New department store opens in Twin Cities

The new Von Maur store is part of an expansion and major remodeling at Rosedale Center.
JB Hudson President Nick Pechman, left, helped Gene McClurg, center, who was looking for a dress watch, preferably a Cartier or Rolex at the Loupe.

JB Hudson partners with Martin Patrick 3 for Twin Cities luxury shoppers

Martin Patrick 3 in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood last week celebrated a new expansion, its fifth, and a partner, JB Hudson Jewelers.
Justin Yoshimura is the founder of CSC Generation, an Indiana firm that acquired the Bon-Ton brands, including Herberger’s and Younkers.

Buyer of Herberger's, Bon-Ton lays out Minnesota revival plan

CSC Generation Holdings CEO Justin Yoshimura discussed what his company has in store for Minnesota and why it's interested in a retail concept in decline.
Aldi, the fast-growing discount grocery known for no-frills appearance, will add delivery service via Instacart in the Twin Cities and most of the U.S

Aldi, long a holdout on grocery delivery in Twin Cities, will start it next month

The rapidly expanding few-frills grocer will also open a dozen new stores around state.
Kali Kimbrell and her 12 month-old son Crosby, visited the Bachman’s/Galleria flower show at the Galleria in Edina this spring.

Galleria, Bachman's say spring flower show will bloom for three more years

Galleria and Bachman's extend spring show to 2021

United Natural Foods taps Sean Griffin as CEO for Supervalu

Mark Gross, who has led Supervalu for the past two years, is expected to leave at the completion of the $2.9 billion acquisition.
mug

Joanne Senander knew about hard times, and tried to make things easier for the poor

Senander, who died Sept. 3 after a short battle with cancer at 86, was a special education teacher who "kicked it into gear when she retired," said daughter Suzie White of St. Louis Park.
Target is testing shopper's attention by announcing a weeklong 10-percent off everything sale on page 2 of its weekly circular.

Target's storewide 'Fun Run' discount is testing shoppers' attention

Analysts say getting more Redcard holders is likely a major reason for the storewide discounts of 10 percent off.
A crew rolled a display of fresh produce to the front of the store Monday afternoon.

Hy-Vee opens its ninth Twin Cities store on Tuesday

Tuesday's debut is the ninth store in the metro for the rapidly expanding grocer.
Homepage of the Herberger's website today

Herbergers.com is back, but too soon to know if closed stores will reopen

Websites for Herberger's, Younkers relaunched with limited selection of items.
Co-owner Steve Meyer talked with Hell’s Kitchen managers Kjersti Granberg, left, and Jessica Cram, center, who helped turn the restaurant around.

How Hell's Kitchen recovered from a near-death experience

Seeing profits evaporate, co-owner Cynthia Gerdes asked nine staffers for ideas to cut costs at the restaurant. Their plan saved its life.
The last Rainbow Foods in the Twin Cities is closing. The Maplewood store, owned by Supervalu since Roundy’s exited the TC in 2014, will close Monda

It's the end of Rainbow in Minnesota, with the last store closing Monday

Supervalu is closing the last Rainbow in Minnesota; a Cub store in St. Paul will also be shuttered.
Apple iTunes gift cards manufactured at Travel Tags in Inver Grove Heights. For years, Travel Tags has wanted to disclose the relationship to buff its

Gift-card maker Travel Tags has had a secret for 12 years it can finally share — it works with Apple

Travel Tags credits Apple, which rarely identifies its suppliers, for innovations in specialty printing.
Charlie Noyed of Crystal left Liquor Boy with his purchase Wednesday night. The new owner said he plans few changes to the store or its staff.

After six years of low prices, Liquor Boy owner sells St. Louis Park store

John Wolf brought everyday low pricing to liquor stores in St. Louis Park and Minneapolis.
Essence One owner, Lauren VanScoy, center, helped customers at her shop at the Minnesota State Fair.

Think it takes decades to get a booth at the State Fair? It really doesn't

It helps to have a desirable product with an unusual selling point.
More than 1,500 volunteer dentists, assistants and others put on an annual dental clinic for low-income patients. The event, coordinated by Minnesota

Free dental care offered at Minneapolis event for low-income patients

Organizers suggest arriving early at the popular event to ensure care.
Even in the age of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, there are still consumers demanding antenna-like services, too.

TV antenna sales rise as cord cutters discover free local channels, streaming

But the number of local installers is shrinking.
Hy-Vee is recalling its store-branded spring pasta salad possibly contaminated with Salmonella that may have sickened 20 people in Minnesota and neigh

Three Minnesotans file suit after illness from Hy-Vee's recalled pasta salad

Eighteen people are known to have been sickened by the tainted pasta.
Robert Sheie, who started Menswear Market online in 2011, believes his new brick-and-mortar store will help make him more efficient.

Minneapolis men's upscale clothing reseller goes from clicks to bricks

Menswear Market, a men's-only consignment store, is a rarity in the Twin Cities.
Famous Dave's menu

Famous Dave's sees better results, encouraged by success with Coon Rapids makeover

Tests of a higher-end concept and drive-through service are next on the company's menu.
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