Relics photo essay: the Randall creamery, now a sewing shop

The creamery building was the first in Randall, just northwest of Little Falls, to have indoor plumbing. Farmers and townspeople paid a dime to take a shower there. The building served a variety of other functions before finally falling empty a decade ago.

Iraq War veteran Janelle Johnson and her mother, Linda Thesing, used to drive by the building on the way to the family cabin and think about what it could be. Finally, two years ago, they bought it from a woman who had wanted to open an antique store but never got around to it. They restored the old creamery and turned it into a coffee and quilting shop.

How small communities around the state remake old buildings is the focus of our Ground Level project, Reviving Minnesota Relics.

The two learned to make the pastries they serve from a woman Johnson was deployed with. “She went to school to be a pastry chef,” Johnson said. “She came and worked with us on recipes.”

The building serves a community function too, hosting yoga classes, meetings and events like baby showers. It’s also home to a photo studio. Johnson is glad to have a job that doesn’t take her away from her family. “My mom and I have always talked and dreamed about the gift and coffee shop and bakery thing,” she said.

Location: 120 Superior Ave.

Go here for a clickable map of all 11 photo essays from around the state by Ann Arbor Miller.