Faribault blanket mill back in business
Retail Editor 2 -- Home Textiles Today, October 5, 2011
Faribault, Minn. - Faribault Woolen Mill Co. has reopened under new ownership and just shipped its first order of woolen blankets, with its inaugural shipment of Ingeo blankets expected within weeks.
"We saw a unique opportunity as well as a chance to bring back a legendary brand," said Chuck Mooty, president and ceo, who purchased the business earlier this year along with his cousin Paul Mooty. "Thankfully, the brand has a wonderful image of quality and durability. We believe we can sustain that."
Faribault, established in 1865, closed in 2009. Mooty spent the past 21 years at International Dairy Queen, most recently as chairman, ceo and president.
The plant reopened with a workforce of 35 - most of them former employees. The staff should ramp up to 50 by year-end, said Mooty.
Faribault is targeting the retail, hospitality and medical segments, the latter with its Ingeo fiber products made from corn. The plant's initial order shipped to the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan. "We will be in that premium quality player category," said Mooty.
The company is also selling directly to consumers through its website, faribaultmill.com. Available product comprises a limited run of Faribault's double-woven, fine merino Rivival Stripe Voyageur Blanket at $279 for a queen and its Pure & Simple washable wool solid color blanket at $150 for a queen.
The mill has been the sell-in period for fall/winter 2011/2012 and so is concentrating on building the business for next year's blanket season, said Mooty. Faribault will attend the International Hotel/Motel + Restaurant Show in New York next month to get the lay of the land, and will consider exhibiting in trade shows in 2012, he said.
Faribault will also work on brand building by opening a store in the Mall of American in Minneapolis in November.
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