May 2, 2023 | By: Justin Othoudt

In Business: Bemidji’s Lumberjack Shack Reopens with New Owners, New Plans on the Horizon

Monday, May 1st marked a new chapter for a long-standing Bemidji business, as the Lumberjack Shack reopened with its newest owners.

“My mom was the previous owner for 8 years,” said Jennifer Hiltz. “I knew that I would take over someday, I just didn’t know when.”

“We’re actually really excited to open,” said Les Hiltz Jr. “We’ve been working on it all winter, trying to get things ready to go, and doing some upgrades and getting some new products in. So yeah, we’re really excited to see the season take off.”

The Lumberjack Shack is perhaps best known for its variety of souvenir products of the Bemidji area, including the north’s mascots Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

“Tourists come in and they wanna take home gifts because they visited our town, you know, they wanna take the magnets and the shot glasses,” said Jennifer. “We try to carry a lot of those things that the tourists will want to take home with them.”

In addition to it being the first day of new ownership, Monday also served as the Lumberjack Shack’s first day as a year-round business.

“We’d like to see local business come here as well and try to supply them with some of their Bemidji items,” said Les.

“We’ll have, maybe themed weekends for the winter for hockey days,” explained Jennifer, “Just some things to look forward to, those are all kind of in the future.”

Hopefully with its year-round direction and new guiding force, the Lumberjack Shack will continue to serve as a love letter to the Bemidji community.

“We’re happy to be here, happy to be finally open,” said Les.

In addition to providing year-round service, the Lumberjack Shack also hopes to provide a robust online presence within the near future.

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