Former Cloquet Hardware Store Turning into New Thrift Shop

NorthStar Community Services Will Soon Open a Thrift Store in the Former Space of Wood City Lights and Hardware

CLOQUET, Minn. – A longtime hardware store in Cloquet will soon be shutting its doors for good.

But new hope is on the horizon for the space.

“It’s just wonderful to be part of the community,” said Linda Erickson, former owner of Erickson Hardware in Cloquet.

Erickson has a love for helping residents in her community fix just about anything that breaks down.

“We were the last personalized hardware store, mom and pop store. We used to put the chairs outside and have people come to sit and just talk during the day,” said Erickson.

It was back in 1971 when her husband’s family moved to Cloquet. Shortly after, they would open Coast to Coast Hardware Store.

“It was just fun to know you’re helping people. There are a lot of people in this community that can’t get out or can’t go to some big box store and I would always deliver,” said Erickson.

Years ago, Erickson sold the store to Julie and John Haverkamp. Along with the sale came a name change – Wood City Lights and Hardware.

“One day my husband came in here and he was looking around and said, come here, I have to show you something,” said Julie Haverkamp, owner of Wood City Lights and Hardware.

Flash forward and the Haverkamp’s became the new owners of their very own small business.

“Well guess what, here I am,” exclaimed Haverkamp.

The Haverkamp’s recently decided to sell due to the takeover of big box stores and the World Wide Web.

“It’s happening all over the place, we have lost our suppliers,” said Haverkamp.

As the Haverkamp’s look forward to a new chapter in the careers, the City of Cloquet will soon have a new place to purchase reasonably priced items.

Now new life is being breathed into the location, as Heather Wright and her team at NorthStar Community Services take over ownership.

“We wanted to open a new space where people could come to get basic needs, or household needs at a low thrift price,” said Heather Wright, President of NorthStar Community Services.

She has a passion for helping her fellow Northlanders get basic household items and clothing for a reasonable rate.

“Some of the other stores that have closed in the community have offered to donate some of those things to us,” said Wright.

The COVID-19 pandemic, forcing many local businesses to close for good. However, Wright is thankful their products will soon be sold to those in need.

“Not only are we helping the community with the resources much needed, but we’re also offering opportunities for employment for other individuals as well,” said Wright.

As the once-booming hardware store switches to a new façade, the previous owners have nothing but hope for a successful future as a new adventure begins.

“I’m going to miss everybody,” said Haverkamp.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s been wonderful,” said Erickson.

The new store will focus on basic needs such as clothing, pots, pans, dishes, and furniture.

Wright says doors will close at the end of April for renovation and setup. Their goal is to have the business open by June 1st.

Categories: Business, Community, Knowing Your Neighbors, News, News – Latest News