Fifteen minutes northwest of Faribault on Shieldsville Boulevard right across the street from Mazaska Lake, and within 15 minutes of more than 15 lakes you'll find Lake Country Convenience & Bait.

As half of Shieldsville’s businesses (the other half is the Sasquatch Saloon), the store supplies gas and everything tourists could need for hunting, fishing, camping and summer fun (including lottery).

As an independent retailer, owner Craig Finnesgard is free to carry niche and locally grown products he personally tastes and curates. Along with a local farmer selling vegetables from a stand outside the store in the summer, Finnesgard sells maple syrup and organic eggs from less than two miles away, honey from five miles away, barbeque sauce made in Faribault, and about 20 smokehouse meat products from 45 minutes away. Even store employees are locally grown—Finnesgard has known many of his employees since they were children.

Cashier Jan Lamphere and owner Craig Finnesgard

The store also supplies comradery and staples for the small close-knit community. Finnesgard knows all the 25 or so daily lottery players who come in for coffee and lottery (some twice a day), and around 25 others who play at least once a week.

And they win. Since 2017 the store has had scratch ticket winners of $500,000, $200,000 and $100,000. Finnesgard really enjoys hearing how players spend their winnings.

To tourists and locals alike the staff strive to provide a welcoming and pleasant experience to everyone who walks through their doors. Check out Lake Country Convenience & Bait—maybe you’ll be a winner, too!