MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With Christmas coming there’s a place where you can find traditional German ornaments.

You can also find German chocolates, sauerkraut and beer steins — and those are just a few of the countless things you’ll find at Domeier’s German Store. In this week’s Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen takes us to New Ulm where Domeier’s is celebrating 85 years of authentic history.

“I’ve heard it’s the most German town in the United States,” said Anne Morris.

It’s hard to argue with that. New Ulm has a giant German Glockenspiel downtown, famous Schell’s Brewery and taproom, and Herman the German who keeps watch over the entire city. Not to mention countless festivals year-round.

“The people of New Ulm especially know their background, where they came from and why they came here,” said Morris.

They also know where to go to get reacquainted with their German heritage. Eighty-five years ago Morris’s grandparents opened a corner grocery store. Then in the 1960’s, a trip to Europe changed everything.

“My grandmother and my aunt Marlene went to Germany and they were inspired by the stores they saw in Germany,” said Morris.

When they returned, Domeier’s transformed. Bread and milk were replaced by chocolate and cuckoo clocks. There are 100-year-old beer steins, traditional Christmas ornaments, books in German and even an endless selection of German music.

“We have music from Bavaria. Oktoberfest music as well,” said Morris.

Morris goes on a buying trip to Germany once a year and she’ll come back with a variety of authentic merchandise.

Anyone can visit Domeier’s, but naturally, it attracts certain people who are curious about the culture.

“Frohliche Weihnatchten! That means Merry Christmas,” said Amy Zents, who also a German radio program. “I love everything here,” said Zents.

“I’ve been here at Domeier’s way before Anne was born. The variety of authentic whatever is what I’m looking for,” said George Glotzbach while wearing a German fishing hat.

About the only thing they don’t sell is Lederhosen. Morris took over the store when her aunt passed away a couple years ago. And she’s hoping people never lose interest in their German heritage. By the looks of it, they won’t.

“There’s a sense of community here and that’s why this store is so perfect for New Ulm,” said Morris. “There are other German stores in the country but they come and go. But we’re still here 85 years and counting.”

Domeier’s gets especially busy during New Ulm’s big festivals such as Mai Fest in May, Bavarian Blast in July, Oktoberfest in October and Bock Fest in the winter.

John Lauritsen

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