Weekend Cottage Antiques
Celebrates 7 Years!
This July 4th weekend marks Weekend Cottage’s seventh year in business in Clear Lake, MN!
Seven year itch, you say….. “No!” says Weekend Cottage owner Gerri Geffre. “In fact, I love the business more and more with each passing year!”
When you ask Gerri what her recipe for success is she’ll tell you that while Weekend Cottage is located in the small town of Clear Lake, there is a tremendous amount of traffic that flows between I-94 and Highway 10 – right past the antique store. And she’ll tell you that Clear Lake, (both the city and its people), have been very supportive of Weekend Cottage. And finally, she’ll also note that it really helps to have the regionally renowned McDonalds Meat and Cheese Shop located directly across the street. (The 100-year-old McDonalds Meats grills their wonderful fresh meats out on their sidewalk on Friday’s and Saturday’s, attracting droves of people. Often the men come to sit and enjoy the BBQ, while the women head across to Weekend Cottage). The old adage, location, location, location applied here makes everyone happy.
It was on a trip to McDonalds Meats, when Gerri and her husband Jim took Gerri’s 81-year-old mother out for some of her favorite dried beef, that she and Jim first noticed the little “cute but neglected and disheveled” house across the street with a “For Sale” sign in front. They had been looking for several years for “the perfect spot” to begin Gerri’s dream of a little store, and even though it needed a lot of work – they knew this was the one!
And so, slowly but surely, Weekend Cottage was born. Seven years later it has become a multi-generational operation as Loretta, (Gerri’s mother who is now 89 years young), Gerri, and Gerri’s daughter Kathryn (who practically grew up in the antique store) often work together on Sundays to run the shop. Gerri’s brother Allen is also a vendor at the shop – and he delights in “pranking” Gerri and the other vendors by leaving little surprises for them around the shop. And finally there’s the Weekend Cottage logo – a vintage photograph depicting Loretta (that’s her on the right) and her sisters – all but one of whom lived in Clear Lake. As Gerri says, “My Weekend Cottage Ladies – were really Clear Lake Ladies!”
And then, Gerri says, there’s the “extended family” of the shop. “We are so very fortunate to have the wonderful group of antiques dealers that we have assembled. Many have been with us since our doors opened, and I am incredibly grateful for them – both as the wonderful dealers that they are, and for the friendships that have developed over the years. We are truly blessed to have such a great group of people.”
Gerri also notes that, “It’s exciting that we get customers from all over the United States at our little store – especially during the summer months.” And they are well-supported by their Minneapolis and St. Paul clientele who make sure to stop in either on their way to or from their cabins or their “up north” resort vacations. Everyone is surprised at just how big the whole operation is. In addition to the Weekend Cottage main house, there is a large front and back yard with a great variety of garden items, and a second “Lodge” building behind the main house.
In order to support their diverse clientele Gerri says it’s important to have “a little bit of everything” in the store. You’ll find antiques and vintage items, farm primitives, tools, jewelry, both vintage and quality newer clothing, books, kitchen handicrafts and homemade jams, jellies and pickles, and lots of garden items.
As Gerri says, "From canoes, old boat motors and oars, to vintage wedding dresses, and homemade warm mittens; from raspberry rhubarb jam and beet pickles, to a great rare book for a weekend by the lake – we’ve got you covered!
8600 Main Avenue
Clear Lake, MN 55319
(1 block south of Highway 10 in downtown Clear Lake)
Friday ~ Saturday ~ Sunday
10am to 6pm