History - Pohaki



Our History: A building tradition for almost 70 years.

A lot of people believe Pohaki is a Native American word. Located deep in the heart of thick pine and birch forests that surround clear spring-fed lakes near Virginia, Minnesota, it’s not hard to imagine a mystical, mysterious meaning in the name of this Iron Range home improvement store.

A Native American image was even used in the company logo years ago. Truth is, our company’s name came from the first two letters of the three owners who founded Pohaki more than 70 years ago.

Steve POgorelce, Newton HAhne and Clarence KIntner purchased a yard that was built in 1896 as a retail store for a local sawmill and was known as W.T. Bailey Lumber Company.

Allen Williams began working at Pohaki in 1964 and married Mary Pogorelce in 1967. By 1970, Pogorelce was the sole owner, and Williams took over the business from his father-in-law in 1988. History repeated itself in 2001, when Brandon Seppala (married to Heather, Al & Mary’s daughter) began working at Pohaki. In 2008, Brandon & Heather purchased the business and became the third-generation owners of the family business. Today, Brandon & Heather’s son, Brady, is an integral part of Pohaki’s success.

Times have changed since there were multiple, local family-run lumberyards and home improvement stores in almost every community across the Range. Now, we see those businesses being replaced with “big box” stores. That is why our priority at Pohaki continues to be maintaining a strong and loyal customer base with personal & customized service. Stop in our 6th Avenue North Virginia, Minnesota storefront and see for yourself.

Family-owned, four-generation business.