Windthorst General Store's 125th Anniversary

The General Store in Windthorst is celebrating its 125th anniversary. The store has moved across the street from where it was originally built. And while they have upgraded the store throughout the years, it is still set up like an old general store.
The Windthorst general store’s ownership has changed hands quite a few times since it was first built in 1892.
“The business has been ongoing for 125 years,” said Joe Zotz, owner of the General Store. “It started out with Weinzapfel and others. It’s been Weinzapfel for quite a few years there. An Osterman married an Weinzapfel then the Osterman’s had it like 30 years. After that me and my son are the owners of the business today and we’ve been here around 24 years now.”
Though the general store that has a little bit of everything, they are keeping up to date.
“When I first started here lots of folks thought well it’s an old place they will have everything you can’t find nowhere else,” Zotz said. “Well that’s kind of a misconception actually. We try to stay up with times. Things that sell is what we stock and things that don’t sell go by the way side. Our business has changed big time over the years.”
The General Store has been a part of Joe Zotz’s children’s lives since he bought it in 1993.
“Well we were raised in the store so 1993,” said Abby Zotz, one of Joe’s daughters who also works at the store. “But since we were 16 years old so for about eleven years we’ve been working here.”
Even though they knew it was an old store when he purchased it, they didn’t realize that it was a historic
“I think at the time we didn’t realize how historical it truly was,” said Leann Zotz Huckabbe, another one of Joe’s daughters. “I mean being kids and then for me for example I’ve worked other places and come back and to see everything the store has done. The history. It’s just amazing that a business like this can thrive in a community based off the customer’s needs and changes and stuff like that and how a company can stay alive.”
Four of Joe’s six children have worked in the general store and his granddaughter works there now as well. They said they plan on keeping the Windthorst general store a family business as long as possible.


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