Business with 55 years experience in the beer, wine, and cheese industries closing its doors

Klopp says his best memories are "The fun I've had helping people."

Posted: Sep 18, 2019 7:54 PM

PINE ISLAND, Minn. - After 55 years in the business, Von Klopp Brew Shop is closing on September 27.

Wally Klopp's father bought the Pine Cheese Mart in Pine Island in the 1955 and Klopp has been in the industry ever since. In 1958, Highway 52 bypassed Pine Island. "We lost all that traffic so to survive we bought land out here on the highway again and I opened the store in 1969," explains Klopp.

Klopp's business has gone through many changes over the decades. Klopp has owned 5 beer, wine, cheese, and deli shops in the area. The Highway 52 location was originally a cheese shop and a restaurant. After tiring of running the restaurant, he closed it and expanded the wine and beer part of the business.

Eventually, cheese was dropped from the shop after a change to Highway 52 in 2013. "We are no longer in the cheese business because MNDOT closed the crossoverin front of our driveway... When they did that we lost 90% of our traffic. We had to take the cheese out but just rolled with the punches again and expanded the wine and beer making," says Klopp.

Klopp's beer and wine supply business boomed, but the 4 other stores gradually closed. Besides the Highway 52 location, the store in Rochester was the last to close. The Rochester location did well, but Barlow Plaza rent costs went up and Klopp made the call to close it.

Next month marks 50 years of being in the Highway 52 location and Klopp and his wife are retiring to spend more time with family. Von Klopp Brew Shop is having a close-out sale and beer and wine brewing enthusiasts are stocking up.

He says his best memories are "The fun I've had helping people. There's been thousands of winemakers and brewers." He enjoyed educating people about brewing.

Because of uncertainties about the future of Highway 52 near Pine Island, Klopp isn't sure if or when he'll sell the building. 

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 36°
Albert Lea
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Austin
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 41°
Charles City
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 39°
Rochester
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 36°
Warmer weather is set to return this week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast 10/14

Image

"Take Back Our Street" group forms

Image

Indigenous People's Day or Columbus Day?

Image

Community skating rink in Northwood?

Image

Pub robbery in Rake

Image

Shout Out to Los Arcos

Image

How to protect yourself from a break-in

Image

Sen. Bennet stumps in North Iowa

Image

Economic impact of Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener

Image

New poll pads for Olmsted County

Community Events