Curt Lambrecht – Class of 1971

Penny candy and nails. Those are the first items that Curt Lambrecht remembers selling at his Grandma Esther’s general store in Essig. You could say that Curt was destined to be a storeowner.

Curt grew up on a dairy farm near Essig and attended New Ulm Public Schools where he was active in choir, theater, journalism, and was editor of the school year book. After graduating in 1971, Curt went on to study Communications at the University of Minnesota-Morris and pursued a career in arts administration. He managed a 21 county regional arts council in Marshall, MN for five years and then was hired as an arts consultant for the Blandin Foundation in northern Minnesota. He was an active board member of MN Citizens for the Arts, MN Association of Community Theaters, and the MN Alliance for Arts in Education.

During a visit home in 1983, a “business for sale” ad caught Curt’s wife Donna’s eye and within a few months they were back in New Ulm and the owners of a store on Minnesota Street. They never imagined they would be back in New Ulm, let alone storeowners. But, over the next 30 plus years, Curt and Donna have curated the gem of a store that we now know as Lambrechts. It is an anchor of our downtown historic shopping district, as well as a tourist destination.

Over the years, Curt has been intimately involved in keeping our retail community vibrant and growing. He has served and chaired numerous committees for the Chamber of Commerce and the New Ulm Retail Association. In 2003 the Chamber of Commerce recognized Lambrechts as the Business of the Year and Curt was named Business Volunteer of the Year in 2013.

Curt understands that a prosperous and thriving community is needed in order to have a successful retail business. As he says, “What is good for New Ulm is good for Lambrechts”. He is an active volunteer in New Ulm schools and supports our local festivals having served on the Heritagefest Board as well as volunteering with Oktoberfest. He has served on the boards of the Oak Hills Living Center, the Community Concert Association, and the MBW Company, which provides group homes for people with disabilities.

Curt once said, “If you’re going to be a part of a small community, you have to do your share”. Curt has done his share, and then some, and New Ulm is a better place because of him.