Local Shop Combines Vintage & Modern Kitchenware

Potluck Vintage & Modern Kitchenware is Located Along Chapman Street in Ely, Minnesota

ELY, Minn. – It was back in 2019 when the Ely Shopko shut its doors.

The closure caused a big blow to many of the residents, who relied on the store for everyday essentials for the home or cabin.

Now residents are thrilled to have a shop down the block to frequent for everyday items.

“I tried to bring in things that I thought were useful like aprons and hot mitts,” said David Wigdahl, owner of Potluck Vintage & Modern Kitchenware.

Aside from selling essentials, Wigdahl is looking to bring business back to Chapman Street.

The newly retired resident started getting restless about three years ago after letting go of his day job.

“I thought, well I’ll do antiques on one side, and I’ll do the kitchen on the other,” said Wigdahl.

It’s a dual destination for those interested in new, vintage, or both types of products.

“Even people that aren’t interested in antiques still like to see the old stuff. They go, ‘Oh my grandma had that, and my mom had that,’” said Wigdahl.

The shop centers on kitchenware, whether it was recently made, or something you’d find in your great-grandmother’s cupboards.

“As we were setting up, I thought, well this vintage teapot looks just like this new teapot, so I’ll just set them out and put them together,” said Wigdahl.

Potluck Vintage & Modern Kitchenware is 75 percent new, 25 percent, treasure.

“The next generation wasn’t coming out that much for antiques, but they’re really into cooking and gardening,” said Wigdahl.

With a variety of offerings, he welcomes customers of all ages and locations.

“I didn’t want to do another tourist shop like; you won’t find any moose, bear, and wolf kinds of souvenirs here to speak of. I wanted to do something different, something that the local folks would need,” said Wigdahl.

The shop is full of the bare necessities, without the wilderness theme attached.

“Once we were able to reopen in June, I had a run on all of my baking, bread, pie, and cake pans,” said Wigdahl.

He says the pandemic put a lid on things for a while, until cooking, canning, and baking became a skill many wanted to tackle.

“Come fall, we had a run on all of our canning jars and equipment,” said Wigdahl.

Now Wigdahl wishes for a successful summer season, as people are starting to come out of their kitchens, and stimulate the shops we’ve all missed so much.

“I always say everything’s on a cycle and if it was popular 25-30 years ago, it’s coming back now,” said Wigdahl.

Wigdahl says the City of Ely is planning to install this summer what’s known as a pocket park next to his shop.

He hopes it will generate more foot traffic.

He also said he just signed a new three-year lease, and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.


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