ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Ely couple reclaims Wintergreen brand

The founders of an iconic Ely outdoor apparel company can once again use the Wintergreen name. Susan and Paul Schurke have reached a legal settlement that returns the brand rights and use of the full Wintergreen Northern Wear name to them. The co...

Wintergreen
Susan Schurke (second from left) and staff members cheer as the temporary banner that had hidden the Wintergreen name at the store and production center in downtown Ely comes down. (Photo courtesy of Susan and Paul Schurke)

The founders of an iconic Ely outdoor apparel company can once again use the Wintergreen name.
Susan and Paul Schurke have reached a legal settlement that returns the brand rights and use of the full Wintergreen Northern Wear name to them.
The couple had started Wintergreen in 1982, making and selling outdoor wear hardy enough for Paul Schurke’s polar expeditions. They built the business into a three-building operation in Ely’s business district, along with 40 employees and annual revenue of $1.2 million.
They sold the business in 2009 to Curt and Becky Stacey. Four years later, it went out of business.
Susan Schurke relaunched the business in 2014, starting it from scratch. She repurchased the main two-story building in Ely’s business district and some of the production equipment and remaining fabric. She recreated patterns for anoraks - the most popular item - as well as other offerings, and hired new and former sewers.
But her efforts to use the brand name she had started were thwarted by the former owners, so she used the name Northwoods Apparel.
After a legal tug-of-war over trademark rights for much of the past year, a settlement was reached in late August.
“It feels great to finally be free of those headaches,” she said in a statement. “Our staff is elated to be sewing Wintergreen labels on our garments again.”
Both the Wintergreen production center and retail store are in the same building at 205 E. Sheridan St. The couple plans to launch the new Wintergreen Northern Wear website this month.

Related Topics: ELY
What To Read Next
An assistance package should provide $200,000 to complete the renovation of the neighboring building in the Spirit Valley neighborhood.
Bankruptcy information gathered from cases filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Duluth.
Recently sold properties from St. Louis County.
Bankruptcy information gathered from cases filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Duluth.