Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store will become even larger with new location

The iconic yellow barn on Highway 169 will be razed, as Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store moves less than a mile away, from St. Lawrence Township to Jordan.

The planned construction of an interchange project on the highway prompted the move.

Robert Wagner, the store's owner, said the Minnesota Department of Transportation determined the business was too close to the proposed interchange. MnDOT officials said the store’s access road to Highway 169 would need to be closed off.

“When MnDOT told us in absolute, no uncertain terms that, you know, this is the way it's going to be,” he said, chuckling. “I like that, ‘It’s this way or the highway.’ Yeah, they’re the highway department.”

Wagner said cutting off that access from the road would result in a possible 10 percent loss in business.

Last year, 800,000 people walked through doors of the candy store, which is also known as Jim’s Apple Farm.

He said he didn’t like that option and moved forward. The 64-year-old store owner began talking with representatives from Scott County in October.

A man stands next to a picture on a wall
Robert Wagner, owner of Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, shows a display outside his store. The iconic yellow barn on Highway 169 will be razed, as Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store moves less than a mile away, from St. Lawrence Township to Jordan.
Courtesy of Renee Wagner

County officials and Wagner agreed to a deal, and he expects an agreement to be signed in one month. In it, Wagner and the county will swap land. The candy store property will go to the county, and the county will give Wagner a land parcel located further east on Highway 169. After the land is swapped, he will lease the current property from the county for $1 a year.

“This is just a wonderful opportunity for us to start fresh,” Wagner said. “I am very pleased with Scott County and the city of Jordan. And myself.”

The banana yellow barn alone measures 27,000 square feet. The entire business property occupies 43,000 square feet.

Lisa Freese, transportation services director with Scott County, confirmed the moved and explained some of the county’s plans.

“We'll be removing his existing building, reclaiming the site and restoring it with some wetlands,” she said, adding most of the current parking lot was at one point wetland. The county will then close the accesses to Highway 169 connected to the candy store property.

The new property will allow the candy store to connect into Jordan’s sewer and water system.

The move to Jordan will present challenges for the business. For one, the store can’t begin moving preparations until after its 2026 retail season ends on Dec. 1, Wagner said.

“So it’s not just simply moving in at that time, we have to take apart the existing store, move it over there and then reassemble it,” he said. Wagner and his team must vacate the premises by April 1, 2027. The county will level the barn sometime afterward.

Construction for the $20 million first phase of the project begins this year.

The new barn will have 2.5 times more retail space at 100,000 square feet. It will open in the spring of 2027.

Wagner said the business won't tinker with its distinguished yellow barn, which was his father's idea to attract customers years ago.

"We're gonna build a classic … barn. And it's going to just be a beautiful piece of architecture. And there's not a lot of barns built in America anymore,” he said. “This is going to be a challenging structure to build.”

Once the barn is built, the building is handed over to a group of painters.

“Artists that actually work for Disney part-time, come into this room, this barn and start painting murals on the ceilings,” Wagner said.

After they finish, then the candy store team can move in.

Collected from Minnesota Public Radio News. View original source here.

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is a public radio network for the state of Minnesota. With its three services, News & Information, YourClassical MPR and The Current, MPR operates a 46-station regional radio network in the upper Midwest. Last updated from Wikipedia 2024-05-12T20:13:58Z.
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