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Luedke's Sew and Vac owner David Luedke, pictured, and his wife Carla are retiring after 60 years in business.

Luedke’s Sew and Vac, a fixture of Princeton’s hometown business community, plans to close at the end of 2021.

Owners David and Carla Luedke are retiring after 60 years in business.

The business, which was originally called Luedke’s House of Sewing, opened at 413 N. Clinton St., in 1961.

Through the years, customers came from near and far to choose from a wide selection of brand name sewing machines and vacuum cleaners.

Luedke’s sold new and gently used machines and offered supplies and repair services. Dave Luedke became known for his high-quality, friendly service, attention to detail, and reasonable rates, attracting many repeat customers.

In addition to the storefront inside their Princeton home, Luedke’s had a retail location in Fond du Lac in the 1980s.

“We’ve had a good run with many loyal customers, and it’s time to take more time for ourselves,” the 82-year-old said of the decision to close the business. “Being small business owners has been a thrill for us, and we’re grateful for all those who have supported us for so long.”

Luedke noted much has changed during the six decades his namesake store has been in business.

“We’ve always been a little guy in a small town, offering service that others simply can’t match,” he said. “Online retail changed the landscape, providing a wider selection and delivery to more remote areas like ours.

"Internet sales and the big box stores didn’t harm our business though, because people who live in areas like Princeton value local businesses and rely on people they know and trust.”

Luedke’s has a limited inventory that will be marked down before the store closes on Dec. 31.

The store is currently open only by appointment, which can be scheduled by calling (920) 295-6616.

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