Brewery building now bottles the past
In the shadow of the Sugar Loaf bluff at the junction of Highways 14-61 and 43 in Winona is the former historic Bub's Brewery building. Built in 1862, it operated as a brewery until closing in 1967.
The building is presently listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1983, the property was bought by Mark Zimmerman, who opened a furniture store named Sugar Loaf furniture. The furniture store operated for approximately 20 years and then closed after Zimmerman's retirement.
The idea to turn this old brewery into an antique and craft store came from Geri Corey, daughter of Mark Zimmerman and part owner of Sugar Loaf Antiques & Crafts .
"My dad wanted to make use of the building, so he decided to open the doors on Oct. 1, 2006, as the business it is today," Corey said. "We looked at several venues but this was most practical and most needed in Winona."
Zimmerman and Corey saw potential.
"The brewery interior is the original, and we basically updated with sheetrock, wiring and a couple of ceilings."
The 25,000-square-foot store is stocked with items made by local artisans along with antique and collectibles items from dealers within the Midwest.
"We have a variety here, most people will say it is like a museum but better because you can buy items," Corey said. "With antique dealers as far away as Missouri, we can expand in all areas. We have 13 rooms and 3 caves for display areas."
When it came to the furnishings, Corey says, "I checked out garage and estate sales, auctions, flea-markets and thrift shops. And this is the same with some of my first merchandise. The very first items were from someone who had a household to sell. My dad looked. We made an offer and boom! We were in business."
The outside of the building retains its original look.
"Folks tell me that, 'It is so big! I got lost!'" Corey said. "'It is so clean.' 'You have such neat stuff! And those caves are awesome!'"