Watch for daffodils to come up this spring near The Foundry Home Goods’ new corner at 48th & Grand. When the shop was based in the North Loop, owner Anna Hillegass cultivated hundreds of daffodil bulbs to surprise neighbors with a #daffodilbomb each year. She also placed sod on the sidewalk and welcomed the neighborhood for lawn parties. That’s how she met her husband, who worked across the street at Askov Finlayson.
The pair were recently married in a surprise ceremony on Christmas Eve — a surprise even to the wedding party, Hillegass placed gardenias in her bridesmaids’ hair upon arrival — and Hillegass is settling into a new home on Nicollet Island and a new shop in Tangletown.
Even those who haven’t visited The Foundry may have unknowingly seen her dishes at local cafés. She’s provided them at-cost to support businesses like Penny’s Coffee and Botany Coffee.
As an entrepreneur who dreams of running a full-fledged General Store, Hillegass has an old-fashioned strategy for selecting her wares.
“I don’t go to trade shows. I just like to find things the hard way,” she said.
She discovered herbal tinctures by Wooden Spoon Herbs while visiting a friend in Nashville. She met ceramic artist Ginny Sims when Sims pulled up to the shop with a trunk full of products. She orders cutting boards perfectly sized for two pieces of toast from Dennis at August Fischer. She talked to all the beekeepers at the State Fair to find Old Mill Candles by Kate Ellis, who picks up beeswax from her dad’s fourth generation family farm and makes candles at her South Minneapolis home.
“All of these sweet little networks happen. It’s a nice way to do business,” she said.
Some of her products are custom-made for The Foundry, including linens from Lakeshore Linen, based in South Minneapolis. The shop orders square cloths that can double as placemats or tea towels.
“I like the idea that things should work for multiple uses,” Hillegass said. “…All of the basics are really lovely, so when it’s time to throw together a party it’s not hard.”
A former Holly Hunt interior designer and floral stylist, Hillegass is providing a prop shop in the basement of the store for professional photo shoots.
This summer, The Foundry will host flower share pickups by Ladyfern Flowers, which is based at Hillegass’ mother’s farm, Two Pony Gardens in Long Lake.
“It’s a fun way to stay connected to the farm,” Hillegass said.
The shop is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.