Savings on a Stick: Warners’ Stellian and the Minnesota State Fair

A sign posted in view of State Fair traffic at the edge of our flagship store’s parking lot on Snelling and Larpenteur Avenues, two blocks north of the Fairgrounds.

Back since Warners’ Stellian was simply Stellian in the 1950s, our appliances were warehoused at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds all but two months of the year.

Many different buildings housed our refrigerators, washing machines, etc. through the decades we spent there. After a customer bought something, our guys would just drive the two blocks to the Fairgrounds, load the appliance into the truck bearing our name on its stakes, and deliver it – sometimes beating the customer to their own house, founder Jim Warner would brag.

An earlier iteration of our delivery fleet

We kept overhead low enough to offer great prices. In exchange, we had to completely clear our stuff out for the Minnesota State Fair and for the circus (before which Marketing Director Jeff Warner remembers hauling appliances out as the elephants walked in  – probably when we were in the 4-H Building).

We also shared a building with Steichen’s grocery. Still another building we used across the street lacked a toilet, so the side of the building had to do…sorry!

Savings on a Stick

When we’d return all the inventory hauled from the building to our  (then) little single store in Falcon Heights, we barely had space for it, thus creating our annual State Fair Warehouse Sale.

Warners' Stellian Appliance Company 1952
Warners’ Stellian flagship location in 1952.

Finally in 1995, we built our first warehouse in the North End neighborhood of St. Paul, which we expanded a few years later and outgrew by 2004, at which time we built our current Warners’ Stellian warehouse and corporate headquarters.

For some years now, we’ve been referring to our history there and our former annual warehouse sale with our Savings On A Stick promotion during the Minnesota State Fair.

“Make sure you say they were good to us,” Jim Warner said, referring to the State Fairgrounds. He said being able to store our inventory so cheaply probably deserves much credit for keeping us around to this day.

Sounds fair to us.

Featured Image via Flickr m01229
This is an updated version of an article previously published on Aug. 23, 2011.

Appliance Energy Savings (On a Stick)

stainlesssteelfrenchdoorrefrigerator

Check out the energy savings on THAT one! A fairgoer learns about the payoff of Energy Star appliances.

Again this year we’re educating Minnesota State Fair-goers about the money and energy you’ll save by using Energy Star appliances.

The Eco Experience, housed in the Progress Center building, educates Minnesotans about sustainable living practices from not throwing away your aluminum can (can you believe 60% do?) to keeping our drinking water clean to — the main event — Energy Star appliances!

Energy Star Appliances

energystarsappliancesThe federal government created the Energy Star label 20 years ago to promote to consumers appliances that went above and beyond the standards set for energy efficiency.

These energy-efficient appliances, though sometimes more expensive at point of purchase than standard appliances, represent a greater lifetime value when factoring in the money saved through lower utility costs.

Only refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and washers currently carry Energy Star ratings, though the word is that dryers will soon follow. Not all appliances can be Energy Star rated because there’s not enough difference in energy use within the category to create a meaningful distinction for buyers. We’ll see if that changes.

Eco House Exhibit

Warners’ Stellian is proud to partner with the University of Minnesota College of Design for the Gen Y Eco House  exhibit, designed by students to reflect the future of home design for Millennials. The students say that their generation cooks little but values energy and water efficiency so we’re featuring appliances that pack a punch in a smaller footprint: a Bosch induction cooktop, a Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer and a U-Line compact refrigerator/freezer. The laundry is stackable with an Energy Star washer and a sensor dryer. Instead of an oven, the students chose an Electrolux convection microwave, which works double duty to both reheat and bake.

Appliance Energy Savings on a Stick

Warner Stellian enjoys a storied history with the State Fairgrounds. And for the last few years, our appliances have made a comeback appearance at the Minnesota State Fair.

The Eco Experience, located in the Progress Center on Randall Avenue, brings together organizations, ideas, and hands-on activities to show what the fair-goers what they can do at home to help the environment.

(By the way…while you’re saving the environment…By replacing your refrigerator, washer, dishwasher and freezer from the 1980s to new Energy Star appliances you can save an average $350 a year in energy costs. Save away!)

Warners’ Stellian is partnering with the Fair again this year to demonstrate the options for choosing energy efficient applicances. Our display consists of a vignette of a kitchen (with island cabinet) and ENERGY STAR refrigeratordishwasher, and other appliances with an adjacent laundry room demonstrating a HE washer and dryer.

ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use up to 50% less energy and water than older models. If you’re already in the market for new appliances, choosing ENERGY STAR appliances over standard appliances will cost you an average $80 less annually in water and energy (even if they cost a few more smackeroos upfront).

Also included is an ENERGY STAR freezer, air conditioner and dehumidifier.

You’ll find tips on how to decrease the energy you use on the appliances you already own.

If you like PowerPoint, awkward blondes and saving energy, come see me at the Eco Experience Sustainability Stage this Sunday, Aug. 26 at 2:30 p.m. I’ll be showing you how to save money and energy both when you purchase new appliances  and when you use what you’ve already got at home.

Common Cottage Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair

Again this year, Warners’ Stellian appliances among other eco-friendly home ideas in the Eco Experience Common Cottage exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair.

Sure the house has a smart design and is constructed from reused and reclaimed materials, but you can also learn tips to improve the house you have: increase the energy efficiency of your home with an energy audit, incorporate composting and recycling systems, improve indoor air quality and install eco-friendly kitchen surfaces and appliances.

And if that doesn’t get you going, there are backyard chickens on the patio, covered by part of the now-defunct Metrodome roof (and a super pretty natural gas grill from Warners’ Stellian).

If you’re intersted in improving the energy efficiency of your home, you’ll be introduced to the best resources for financing your energy improvements, from loans, rebates, tax credits, or grants.

My camera ran out of batteries before I could take pictures of the STUNNING kitchen, with its blue-green colored reclaimed cabinets and recycled glass counter tops, but I can show you the smart and sexy appliances we chose to showcase this year:

Liebherr refrigerator

The architects on this project specifically requested Liebherr, and we couldn’t have agreed more. Liebherr goes beyond being super energy efficient (27% over federal standards) to become the most sustainable refrigerators; its refrigerators are manufactured in the greenest way out there. Plus, its two compressors ensure premium food preservation. Basically, your fresh (local?) foods will last way longer because the dry air from the freezer won’t disturb the humidity in the refrigerator.

Electrolux induction range

Elements on this Electrolux induction range automatically detect the presence of magnetic cookware, activate the induction field and adjust it to the exact size of the pan. This means that no energy is wasted heating anything else but the cookware holding your food. Induction is 20% more efficient than electric and 70% more efficient than gas, though it boasts the same power and responsiveness that cooks love.

Bosch dishwasher

Not only is it whisper quiet, this Bosch dishwasher uses only 2.4 gallons of water per wash; the average kitchen faucet flows about 4 to 7 gallons per minute!

LG washer/dryer combination

 

This ventless LG washer / dryer combo takes up less space and washes and dry in one appliance. Plus the washer is Energy Star rated, meaning it uses less energy and water to do its job.