Let’s take our Duluth Packs on the road to visit Stormy Kromer in Ironwood, Michigan.
Our little caravan rolled into the Stormy Kromer production facility Thursday morning and was greeted with open arms. Kirsten showed us a very warm welcome as we shook off the weariness from the road. She also introduced us to Bob, owner and president of Jacquart Fabric Products, who lucky enough for us would also serve as our tour guide for the day.
We started in chronological order as Bob told us about the beginnings of the company and all the different projects taken on over the years. We talked about boat canopies and canvas, reupholstering furniture, and the pet division, which serves the needs of a myriad of our furry friends.
At one point I noticed a fairly familiar and famous Olympic face on the wall. Seems a few years back a couple very high-level speed skating competitions were coming to northern Michigan and they needed safety pads built around the track. With the help of the physics department at the University and Jacquart Fabrics, those pads got built to the demanding specifications of the speed skating governing body.
The Legend of Stormy Kromer began in 1903 when Ida took a baseball hat from George and added earflaps to keep him warm in the cold winds of the Upper Peninsula. Our visit to the modern Stormy Kromer, in their big beautiful factory, would surely make George and Ida proud. Quality and tradition can be seen in every Kromer hat being sewn together.
This was a special visit for us. Duluth Pack and Stormy Kromer seem to be kindred spirits that share American Made, 100 plus, year-old company stories. So much history is contained in the Stormy Kromer brand, I am very glad we took the opportunity to share in that first hand.
Thanks to Kirsten, Gina, Jessica, and everybody at Stormy Kromer for making our visit so memorable. And of course a big thank you to our tour guide, Bob who took us “out of bounds” for more than one special, behind the scenes peeks.
If they give you any trouble about being out of bounds Bob, blame it on the troublemakers from Duluth Pack.
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