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Treedome’s retail success helps owners build community connections in Rochester

Treedome has become a popular new shop in downtown Rochester since opening November 2021. Now, as owners Nate Nelson, Maggie Panetta and Max Haydon celebrate their first year, they look for greater growth opportunities in 2023.

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The front of Treedome's shop is only a fraction of all the products they have in Rochester on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022.
Theodore Tollefson / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — When Nate Nelson, Maggie Panetta, and Max Haydon opened Treedome in downtown Rochester a year ago, their expectations for the retail side of their business was to provide stability alongside the many other projects they take on.

“Things are going a lot better than expected,” said Nelson. “The growth especially in the shop was way faster than we thought it was gonna be, almost double what we originally expected last summer to get going on this side of our business.”

“As for our events and music stuff, that's been pretty stable. I wouldn't say it's anything more than usual mostly because we've been focused on getting the shop to a nice stable space,” said Panetta.

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The trio has seen growth in their first year of business in expected areas such as records and vintage clothing sales, but also unexpected areas such as comic books and old entertainment appliances. And some of the products that are brought in for the store are, sometimes, too tempting for Nelson or Panetta not to keep for themselves.

“Comics were never something we expected to get into,” said Nelson. “One guy who has a huge collection in town has just kept bringing stuff each month, and we love taking it in.”

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“With some of the stuff that comes in for all the products we sell, it's sometimes hard to decide what to sell in store and maybe keep for ourselves. Because there could be some special items that are hard to find,” Panetta said. "We have so much stuff that there's overflow of speakers and records in the back we're still digging through."

When Nelson and Panetta decided to move their business from Winona to Rochester in 2021, they were already connecting with businesses in town ahead of time to make the transition from city to city smoother. The partnerships extended to businesses that some may view as their “competition” such as Hidden World Vinyl, which has hosted music shows that Nelson and Panetta have helped book to come into Rochester.

Treedome
Treedome owners Nathaniel Nelson, left, and Maggie Panetta at the shop in downtown Rochester on Aug. 19, 2022.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin file photo

“None of us record stores in town are really in competition with each other,” said Nelson. “We all have something different to offer to people with our stores.“

“The start of our business here was really to appeal to punk, alternative, the counterculture scene of Rochester. We’ve kept up with that but extended beyond with everything else we have in shop now,” said Panetta.

Both Nelson and Panetta are extensively involved in the Rochester community with booking shows at venues such as Thesis Beer Project and Hidden World. The pair is also involved with the Rochester Downtown Alliance helping organize this year’s downtown roller disco and booking artists for Thursday’s Downtown.

Where things will go in the next year for Treedome and its owners is only higher than the heights they have already reached.

The store has provided more stability from Nelson and Panetta’s packed schedules. Having exceed original expectations has allowed them the opportunity to take more risks with the music scene and their other projects.

In addition to booking shows in many other spaces across Rochester, there are also shows at Treedome itself. The first Thursday of each month is opening mic night at Treedome where anyone can take their chance performing in front of others.

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Treedome has special hours for the holiday season as they open at 11 a.m., instead of noon each day, and close at 6 p.m. on Mondays, 7 p.m. on Sundays, and 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


Treedome

309 Broadway Ave. S, Rochester, MN 55904

507-206-3298

treedomemn.com


Theodore Tollefson is a business reporter for the Post Bulletin. He is originally from Burnsville, Minn., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor's degree in journalism in December 2020. Readers can reach Theodore at 507-281-7420 or ttollefson@postbulletin.com.
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