Warroad’s Claim to Fame: Hockey Talent and Amazing Windows

The winter Olympics are over for another long four years. Sigh. Those two weeks went by entirely way too fast.

I will remember Shaun White’s devastating snowboarding run (I actually gasped out loud when he fell–The Flying Tomato, not earning an Olympic medal?!), I will remember Bode Miller’s heart wrenching post-race interview, I will remember Erin Hamlin’s excitement when she became the first-ever American to win a medal in luge during the Sochi games, and most of all, I will remember the name of hockey great TJ Oshie from Warroad, aka “HockeyTown USA,” when he scored four goals in a shootout to beat Russia in a preliminary game. Not only is TJ—a forward with the St. Louis Blues—from Warroad, Olympian Gigi Martin, who played defense on the US women’s hockey team—is also from the town. The inside joke in Warroad is that kids learn to skate before they learn to walk.

And while TJ Oshie put Warroad on the national map for hockey, Marvin Windows put this town of less than 2,000 people, located just six miles south of the Canadian border, on the map for innovative window technology, as I learned when I first wrote about them back in 2012. This family-owned business, with over 4,000 employees, is just as much a part of this town’s story as hockey. They’ve been known (and loved) in the area since the early 1900s, when the company was first founded. The company recently gained national attention when President Obama mentioned them in his acceptance speech, praising their business ethics—and their vow to avoid layoffs—during the recession. They have a reputation among customers and suppliers for building quality products, treating employees like family, and giving back to the community.

Whether it’s a hockey player going from a small town rink to the national stage, or a beautiful customized window shipped from Marvin’s factory to a home in the Twin Cities metro, Warroad locals have two major success stories to call their own.