Kersten's Furs closing - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Kersten's Furs closing

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- A business that's been around Rochester for almost a century is preparing preparing to close up shop. Kersten's Furs has been a staple on Broadway for the past 40 years. And before that, it lined 1st Avenue.

Sandwiched between modern buildings on Broadway, you'll find Kersten's Furs, in a bit more historic building; a fitting place for one of Rochester's oldest stores.

"When a customer puts a coat on and they really enjoy it and they look good in it, that's usually what seals the deal," explains long-time employee Mary Rolli.

Kersten's Furs has been a downtown Rochester staple since 1919, opening up shop during the city's historic boom. The population doubled in the first 20 years of the 20th century, the Mayo Clinic was taking shape, and the Rochester Junior College was newly formed.

Now early next year, the store will close its doors, giving its owners a chance at retirement.

"We were just going to try it for one year, and I fully anticipated going back to St. Paul here we are 32 years later still in the business," says co-owner Anne Galazen.

Now there are not too many places where you can get your fur coat repaired or refurbished, and with Kersten's Furs closing, you'll have to go elsewhere to get it done.

"There just isn't people around now that know how to do fur work. It's something entirely different than wool material or something like that," explains Richard Kersten, the son of the store's founder.

With the loss of an old-fashion trade, Rochester also loses a bit of its living history to the ever-changing streets outside.

The Galazens will officially close Kersten's Furs in the end of March. They say they don't want to sell the building, although they have already gotten many calls about doing so. They plan on renting out the space instead.

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