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New antiques store open for business near Wells

By Staff | Jan 1, 2018

Judy and Ron Wegner have opened up a new store called Antiques of the Midwest in a large building located outside Wells. It is filled with antiques of every kind, including the well dressed mannequin, pictured above.

If your passion is hunting for buried treasures, there happens to be a new antique shop in Faribault County that may have something just for you.

Open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Antiques of the Midwest is located on the outskirts of Wells. Near Pihls Park along 110th Street, the antique shop is owned and operated by Ron and Judy Wegner.

The establishment first opened for business at its current location on Nov. 19 of 2017. The Wegners previously operated an antique shop in Albert Lea for 10 years prior to moving to their new place of business.

Long before becoming an antique dealer, treasure hunting has been a life long passion for Judy Wegner. In fact, she recalls first searching for valuables in the junk rooms of her grandparents, who lived on a farm in Walters.

At a very early age, this morbid curiosity to discover lost treasures has sparked a passion for Wegner that still exists today.

“I think from a young age, I was meant to do something like this,” Wegner says. “I’ve always kind of had an interest in it.”

Not only did Wegner search for items in junk rooms, but she also spent time exploring the great outdoors as a youth. These missions led Wegner and her friends out to neighborhood groves where they would hunt for treasures.

“As kids, we played outside a lot, and we would go out in the grove because everybody would throw their junk there and we would look around for things,” Wegner explains.

One of the most memorable items Wegner recalls from these hunting expeditions happened to be a vintage Brownie Box Camera. While the exact age of the camera remains a mystery, the original model for this early photography equipment was developed by Eastman Kodak in 1900.

From suitcases, to figurines, BB guns, vintage magazines and clothing, Antiques of the Midwest has a vast supply of treasures to choose from. Having something for everyone has allowed Wegner’s business to flourish for many years.

“I have six other dealers that rent space here, and the big thing I tell them is we have to have variety,” Wegner says. “We can’t have a whole bunch of just one thing because you never know what the customer would want when they walk in, so what’s one thing that we’ve really been conscious of.”

A big promoter of small business ventures, Wegner says she hopes her establishment adds to the eclectic mix of other small businesses within Faribault County. As for picking a favorite antique among her wide ranging inventory, Wegner was hard pressed to choose.

“There’s no way I could even begin to pick because the best is whatever the customer wants it to be,” she added.