Old Creamery Renovations!



            Built in 1920, the Randall Creamery reflects a Transitional Brick Commercial Style. Popular between 1910-1935.   In addition to its architectural style, the Randall Creamery also reflects a transition whereby technological innovations allowed and required farmers to consolidate dairy processing into centralized locations. Prior to this, dairy farmers often had a means of local vertical production where they raised, fed and milked the dairy cows. Instead of sending the milk elsewhere, the farmers then processed the cow milk into cream, butter and milk on-site. This changed by 1900 where the creamery gradually eclipsed localized farm production of cow milk. Within Minnesota, several dairy cooperatives established creameries in the 1910s and 1920s. By consolidating the production and processing of cow milk, individual farmers could collectively compete with established industries.

            This played out in Randall, Minnesota in 1904, when Charlie Dalquist, Ben Bates, Fannet Schwanke, Otto Bigalke, H.A. Pantzke, Richard Thorson and Edwin Wise organized and formed the Randall Creamery Association. From 1904 to 1919 the association shipped dairy products with Land O' Lakes. Eventually they built the building that is the Randall Creamery in 1920 to house butter churning and processing operations. By building the Randall Creamery just south of the railroad tracks, the close proximity to the iron web allowed greater ease in getting the product to non-local and national markets. The Randall Creamery churned out butter until 1970. After this it became a milk dumping station until 1973 (Nelson, 1990:73-75).  Culturally and socially, the Randall Creamery also served as a space for local functions and events. Men in the Randall community often used the creamery to shower for $.10, this at a time when local Randall homes did not have indoor plumbing. The auditorium in the second floor of the creamery has a stage, a social room, a large storage area and a lavoratory. The community used this second floor for gatherings including fall suppers, get-togethers put on by local churches, social pie functions, numerous theatrical plays, and Memorial Day functions. The Randall Commercial Club and the Civic League also used this second floor. (Nelson, 1990:74-75).


            For years, Linda and I have wondered what would ever happen to the beautiful creamery building in Randall.  When the opportunity arose to purchase the building, we jumped on it.  The Creamery had been vacant for quite some time and required many updates.  We will be documenting our renovation process on our blog.  We encourage you to check back and watch our progress as we turn this historic building into our dream!!


20 January 2012

            The demolition process started in December.  This consisted of many hours cleaning out the building and removing some walls for our quilt shop showroom.  The Creamery also had a cooler room, which we stripped.  This will become our kitchen for the Coffee Shop.  The Electricians at Central MN Electric have been diligently working updating and re-wiring all the electric in the building.  Our construction contractor, Ken Santala has been working with Randall Building Supply for all our construction materials.  The remodeling project is ready to begin on Monday.  We are very excited it is all starting to come together!

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1 February 2012

The remodeling is going well.  By the end of this week, the main floor show room will be completely sheetrocked and ready for taping!  Ziegler's Plumbing and Heating started running the duct work and is continuing to update the plumbing throughout the building. 

7 February 2012

It is all coming together!  This week we dug up the cement floors in the soon to be coffee shop and bathroom to determine where the main sewer lines were located.  Ziegler's Plumbling will be running all the drain lines this week.  The plaster/taper was here all weekend.  The main showroom is really starting to look nice!!  Santala's construction has moved back into the coffee shop area and are starting to frame/sheetrock. 

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12 February 1012

The plumbing for the coffee shop and bathroom is complete and the cement is poured.  Thank you to Ziegler's plumbing, Jayme Schilling, Jaime Doble and all our family for doing such a great job with the cement work!

27 February 2012

Construction is moving along fast!  It has been sometime since our last post....All walls on the main level are completely sheetrocked!  Santella Construction is finishing up in the coffee shop and Murray is taping/painting right behind them!  It all looks so nice and clean!!  John Franzeen is starting the plaster repair in the main entrance and upper levels.  Zieglers has completed all the main heating and plumbing.  They will return to install fixtures when our floors are completed.  We should be drawing down on construction in the next three weeks! 

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29 March 2012

It is hard to believe it has been a month already since our last update!  As you can see, we have been very busy working away on the building!  Since our last post, we have installed tile in the kitchen, moved in our kitchen supplies, had all the ceilings installed, painting and the wood floor installed!!  All of our contractors have been phenomenal.  John Franzen from the Brainerd lakes area patched the plaster in the offices, main entrance and staircase.  It is truly unbelievable how those rooms have transformed.  He will return shortly to finish the classroom.  Murray Marlette has taped, plastered and painted our whole building.  He has been at the creamery every day for the last couple of months with us and does beautiful work.  Santala's construction has been working hard completing our final areas; they do such amazing work.  We are also blessed to have help from our family.  They all have been willing to help and have put in hours of labor for us!! 


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9 May 2012

Only 23 days until we open!!  Time is really flying!  As you can see from the photos our inventory is arriving!!  Santela's are working on our final construction details and have been so wonderful accomodating all of our requests! The building has transformed into a beautiful store front.  We are so excited to share our facillity with the community and hope you all come see us soon. 

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