Brothers Peter and Joseph Schroeder opened Schroeder’s Department Store in 1891. The original building was across the street from where the store stands today. In 1899, the father of the brothers purchased the three-story building across the street and even paid to have bricks shipped in from the port of Sturgeon Bay and delivered via train.
The store has since survived two World Wars, the Great Depression, the recession in 2008, and nearly every other competing store in the area. One way in which the company has found a means of surviving is renting out the now unused portions on the upper floors. The company likens it to a shopping mall without walls.
Two sisters, AJ Schroeder-Ashenbrenner, and Teresa Kronforst, whose great-grandfather was Joseph Schroeder, are the last Schroeder’s to operate the business. Their father John, who ran the store virtually by himself, unexpectedly passed away from cancer in 2008.
Schroeder’s Department Store still has its corporate office in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.