Records, clothing, art and skateboards; Treedome sees more branches after a year in Rochester

Aug. 21—ROCHESTER — A dream in Winona moved to Rochester to become a realized reality.

A year ago, the building that formerly housed Big Brad had sat vacant for a year and a half after closing in February 2020.

Then in November 2021, Nate Nelson, Maggie Panetta, and Max Haydon moved in with Treedome — a space for creativity, vinyl records, skateboards and vintage merchandise — and the space became larger than anything they ever had in Winona.

"Our basic idea of what the store was going to be in Winona didn't entirely jive with the community," said Nelson. "Moving to Rochester we decided to kind of expand on the storefront aspects and it's worked really well here."

"Most people knew us as a videographer or designer, you know, music industry workers before we had the shop. And so the shop kind of came second to that. And so the shop has a much larger presence in Rochester because it's about three times the size of the space," Panetta said. "We are primarily a shop during the day, and the biggest thing that we added to this iteration is the thrift shop aspect."

Both Panetta and Nelson have been a part of the Minnesota music scene for over half a decade. Panetta has worked as graphic designer, muralist, and event manager while Nelson has done videography and booking musicians for shows.

The expansion of the storefront has allowed Panetta and Nelson to dabble in more merchandising for not just records but comics, posters, vintage clothing and skateboards as well. Selling vintage clothing, skateboards and parts for them has been a new experience for Panetta and Nelson since moving to Rochester.

"In Winona, it was more of an office space for our production side and then a little bit of a shop occasionally. The big thing for how our shop is oriented is it runs the gamut of this whole aesthetic behind a lot of what is involved in skateboarding," said Nelson.

Aside from Zumiez in the Apache Mall, Treedome is the only other skate shop in town for skateboarders.

Leading with that aesthetic for Treedome has allowed for the business not to be just a store, but a venue for events as well. One one recent night, for example, Treedome hosted a viewing party for a skateboard documentary called "Making Noise."

Panetta shared how she is continuing to grow the partnership side of Treedome for hosting events as well as booking them with other businesses and organizations in town.

"That was a small event in the grand scheme of things because we do a lot of larger events at Thesis Beer Project. We do these big day fests at Thesis, and then I am a partner with the Rochester Downtown Alliance, so I'm working with them on roller disco downtown in the future," said Panetta.

"We've been pretty entrenched with the music scene for the last five years or so. Since moving here, we've expanded on what we've done as Maggie said a lot of stuff at Thesis Beer Project, worked closely with Adam (Thesis Owner) to start booking a lot of the bigger shows, aside from just events there," Nelson said. "We're also the co-creative directors for Midwest Music Fest in Winona and La Crosse (Wisconsin) this year, and we work closely with Big TurnMusic Festival, both in bluegrass and all the other major fests in the region."

The move to Rochester has been a homecoming for Panetta as she grew up in the community as a kid. As Panetta put it, COVID ended up being a positive for their business with support from friends and family helping get Treedome recognized in the community.

As the first anniversary for the store approaches in November, Panetta and Nelson are grateful for the growth Rochester has provided them both in growing Rochester's music scene and the store providing a space for the counterculture aesthetic for skateboards and punk rockers.

Upcoming events that Treedome is partnering with Thesis Beer Project for are Thesis Ska Project on Saturday, September 3 at 2 p.m. and PunktoberFest on Saturday, October 1 all day.