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
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.

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.

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 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.
Aldi’s remodeled stores, like this one in St. Charles, Ill., feature more gourmet cheeses, organic food and grab-and-go options.

Aldi improves its game with major expansion of organics and fresh produce

The grocer has remodeled many stores, and now it will add more upscale offerings.

Sportsman's Warehouse returns to Twin Cities after 9-year absence

Company touts itself as a "no-frills" alternative to its big-box competitors.
Supervalu, which has 23,000 employees, has a distribution center in Hopkins. Cub Foods is among the retail grocery stores it owns and operates.

$3 billion deal for Supervalu puts Cub stores up for sale

Eden Prairie-based Supervalu, which has 23,000 employees and owns Cub Foods, has seen its stock price languish for years and was under pressure from an activist investor.
This is Parasole’s third Pittsburgh Blue and first outside the metro.

Pittsburgh Blue steakhouse expanding to Rochester

Housed in a new Hilton, the steakhouse is part of city's redevelopment.
Hy-Vee said Friday that it will takeover a location in Plymouth this fall that had been a Cub Foods store until just last week.

Hy-Vee will open in Plymouth this fall, taking a spot that was a Cub Foods

Cub had closed the store last week, just as it finishes remodeling another location in Plymouth.
Shinola's new store in the Galleria in Edina shows more of its expanding product line than the Detroit fashion brand, which started with watches in 20

Shinola resurfaces in the Galleria after North Loop closure

The watch retailer is expanding into electronics, jewelry and leather goods.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opens Sunday in Woodbury.

The new Alamo Drafthouse movie theater has strict 'no talking, no texting' rule

Woodbury theater opens Sunday with lounge seats, a restaurant and a bar.
Susan Brostrom Romane

Teacher, educator and administrator Susan Brostrom Romane dies at 54

Romane, who taught English and occasionally let out a schoolmarmish scold, died June 30 at age 54 after a three-year battle with cancer.
Lunch patrons settled into the remade Coon Rapids Famous Dave’s location, which underwent decor changes and substantial menu additions.

Famous Dave's chain will get makeover after success in Coon Rapids

Maple Grove will be next, then a corporate location in New York.
Alex Griendling, right, enjoyed the comforts of an Emagine theater.

Sterling sequels aren't the only thing bringing people back to movie theaters

Movie theaters and Hollywood studios are having a near-record year, rebounding from a difficult 2017.
Jacob Meister, an installer with Electro Signs, put the J on the Trader Joe’s sign at the store on Washington Avenue S. as he and others prepared fo

Trader Joe's downtown Minneapolis location will open next month

Downtown Minneapolis will have four supermarkets after Trader Joe's opening.
Costco shoppers will still find big things, but different and orderly, in 'business' outlet

Costco shoppers will still find big things, but different and orderly, in 'business' outlet

Small business center opens Wednesday with a focus on a new market.
Marketing guru Mike Arbeiter, left, has helped guide clothing-line founder Greg Horvitz in some of his decisions as he rolls out new Fisher+Baker prod

Casual look gaining a foothold at Fisher+Baker

Fisher+Baker menswear offers guys classic, sophisticated lines that are deceptively rugged — and attracting customers
With little advance publicity, Restoration Hardware opened an outlet store in the West End shopping district in St. Louis Park Thursday. Items in the

Restoration Hardware quietly opens an RH Outlet store in West End

Restoration Hardware quietly opened a new outlet store in St. Louis Park.
Linda Fox, of Roseville, one of the first to line up and enter the new Aldi store in Roseville, Minn., shopped in the produce section on Thursday, Jun

Aldi to open store in new Minneapolis apartment building next spring

The mixed-use project at 26th Street and Lyndale Avenue S. will include 86 apartments in a five-story building.
The interior of Wahlburger’s at the Mall of America is decorated with posters of the celebrity family that started the Boston-based burger chain. Hy

Hy-Vee CEO talks expansion of Wahlburgers and grocery stores

Its first Wahlburgers, opening Tuesday at MOA, is first of 25, CEO says.
Famous Dave’s new CEO Jeff Crivello, left, and founder Dave Anderson have put their heads together to reimagine the once-thriving restaurant concept

With new CEO and Dave himself, Famous Dave's shifts from evolution to revolution

Famous Dave's makeover in Coon Rapids appears to be paying off.
Indochino’s Andrew Workman, left, helped Pat Morseth shop for a suit for his wedding. Morseth’s fiancée, Lauren Hoskinson, helped with the select

Innovators create less-expensive made-to-measure clothing for men, find younger buyers

At innovator Indochino, the focus is on selling convenience and "an experience."
Famous Dave's reported a profit of nearly $1 million in the first three months of the year. The company recently opened a new concept layout at its Co

Shares jump as Famous Dave's reports profit rebound, jump in same-unit sales

Closed locations took a bite out of revenue, but same-store sales rose.
Wahlburgers will open at the Mall of America on May 22. Hy-Vee has entered a franchise agreement to double the size of the Boston-based hamburger chai

Hy-Vee to open state's first Wahlburgers; celebrity brothers to launch it

Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg started the chain in 2011 and Hy-Vee will help it double in size.
John Yarish shopped at the Fridley Duluth Trading Store, where quality and a bit of humor have meshed to help the company set an aggressive plan for g

Duluth Trading Co. expands as many apparel chains languish

The clothing retailer aims to top 100 stores in the next five years.
Joanne Negstad

Joanne Negstad, Lutheran Social Service executive, dies at 82

Joanne Negstad was surrounded by Lutheran pastors all her life. Her grandfather, father, husband and brother all dedicated their lives to the ministry. But having…
Candy is out in the open in the food hall of the CMX Market Cinema at Mall of America.

MOA movie theater will feature food hall; owner backs off pricey tickets

It's the first movie theater in the country with an eatery concept inspired by food halls.
Supervalu sold several of its Farm Fresh stores.

Supervalu reports small gains in profit, same-store sales, and sells some property

The company aims to pay down more debt by selling and leasing back warehouses.
Sears said Monday that it was closing its Maplewood Mall location among nationwide changes, a move that leaves it with just four Twin Cities locations

Sears will close Maplewood store; down to four in metro

The Maplewood store, which opened in 1974, is one of about two dozen stores being shuttered in 17 states as Sears continues to struggle.
Herberger's at Southdale Mall has going out of business signs displayed.

Herberger's customers sorry to see a beloved store close

The 129-year-old department store firm began a liquidation sale Friday that is expected to last 12 weeks.
Reception area at the new redesigned Famous Dave’s in Coon Rapids.

Famous Dave's tests a new menu and new look in Coon Rapids

The company's founder, Dave Anderson, played a key role designing the food and dining room.
Deb Rasinski had a sneak peek Tuesday at the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market opening in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Fresh Thyme opens its seventh Twin Cities store in Minneapolis

The next store to open in Minnesota will be Rochester in 2019.
Many snow-removal contracts expired March 31. With a major snowstorm about to hit, people in the Twin Cities and much of the state looked for contract

Did your snow-removal contract expire on March 31? Try an app

Shoveling out from a 10-inch snowstorm is no big deal in midwinter — for people with a snow-removal contract.But many of those seasonal contracts ended…
Rapidly growing Mulberrys has carved out a niche with eco-friendly dry cleaning. “You have to re-imagine the whole experience,” founder Dan Miller

To survive, dry cleaners hit refresh

With eco-friendly products, self-serve kiosks and home delivery, Minnesota cleaners are rethinking the experience.
Dave and Mary Angell walked Nash, their peppy golden retriever, on a Sunday morning at Rosedale Center in Roseville.

Rosedale's winter indoor dog walks are going year-round

Rosedale Center in January started allowing people to walk their dogs inside the mall for two hours on Sunday mornings before the stores open at 11. It appears to be the only mall in the country doing such a thing.
Fleet Farm has changed some of its marketing and backgrounding policies for guns.

Fleet Farm quietly changes policies for selling guns

It will stop advertising assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines, but will still sell them.
Rendering shows the exterior of the Restoration Hardware showcase store that will be built on the southwest corner of Southdale Center in Edina.

Design changes to cause slight delay at new Restoration Hardware store in Edina

The luxury furniture and design retailer now plans a shorter building with cafe dining on the roof.
Bloomington-based Gander Outdoors, formerly known as Gander Mountain, is planning to reopen six stores in Minnesota.

Gander Outdoors offers a surprise as it reopens six Minnesota stores this year

Eden Prairie site saved by a rerouting of proposed Southwest light-rail line.
Dan McCurley, top left, served to Britt Busch as they played a game of pingpong in the game area after lunch Tuesday at Hy-Vee’s $5.2 million new te

As shoppers migrate online, Hy-Vee wages fight to draw tech talent to Iowa

Fast-growing grocer has built a $5 million IT workspace with free snacks, gym and a "Big Bang Theory" lounge.
The Salvation Army is acting as a distribution hub for Super Bowl LII leftovers. Above, marketing director Michelle Wong with some of the donated item

Twin Cities charities divert tons of waste from Super Bowl

Twin Cities nonprofits have kept the Super Bowl leftovers from landfills.
Supervalu will open the first Cub anchoring an housing complex at 46th and Hiawatha. (Provided by Supervalu)

Cub to open first small, urban concept grocery store in Mpls. in 2019

It's a growing trend in retail, and Supervalu says it will be "unlike anything you'll see in any Cub."

Famous Dave's posts loss as work on new concept continues

Same-store sales climbed slightly, but overall sales continued to slide.
Love Your Melon comes in many colors.

Love Your Melon will open first store in Minneapolis' North Loop

The business started as part of a college entrepreneurship class, with a mission to improve the lives of kids battling cancer.
A since-closed Rainbow Foods in Minneapolis.

Rainbow Foods is closing in Richfield, leaving just one Twin Cities grocery hanging on to the name

Maplewood store will stay open, Supervalu says.
Macy's started its Backstage discount store line in New York three years ago.

Macy's first Minn. outlet will be inside the store it already has at Maplewood Mall

Macy's Backstage will take up the first floor of its Maplewood full-line store starting March 24.
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