Knowing Your Neighbors: Buddy’s Mercantile

TWO HARBORS, Minn. – In tiny Two Harbors, right at the footstep of Lake Superior’s North Shore is a quirky old shop.

Buddy’s Mercantile really does just have a little of this and a little of that.

“I wanted to have something different,” said Jenny Walsberg, who has been working here for ten years now.

But the history of Buddy’s goes back further than that; to her dad Buddy, who opened the place more than thirty years ago.

“It’s pretty cool – I mean a lot of people come in here and they tell me it’s a tradition,” Walsberg said.  “They tell me they’d come here when my dad did it.”

Buddy started his business by selling local wild rice.

“He would sit out there and talk to people all day long,” Jenny remembers. “They kind of got to know him and that was one of their high points to come talk to buddy and they’d continue it on.  And I guess now it’s me.”

And now the store that bears his name continues the tradition of selling locals and tourists the wild crop the Northland is known for.

“This is generally the only place in the world where it grows wild,” Halsberg said.  “People have just come to know that they can find it.”

Jenny says running her dad’s store wasn’t what she set out to do, but it’s what she felt called to do when her dad passed away back in 2015.

And people love that just about everything here is sourced locally.

“You go to so many shops and all you see is ‘Made in China.’  I wanted to stay away from that and find things that that are as local as I could,” Walsberg said.  “Things that you don’t see in every single shop.”

Buddy’s Mercantile is a shop that draws people from all around the world to get a taste of the North Shore right here in Two Harbors.

Buddy’s Mercantile is located on Seventh Avenue in Two Harbors.

They’re open seven days a week from noon to five.

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