Photo by Eric Best

Photo by Eric Best

The Twin Cities Bag Lady says goodbye to family business after eight decades

Updated: December 20, 2016 - 1:27 pm

Oxman’s Twin City Luggage has closed to make way for an expanded gas station.

Susan Oxman, the third-generation owner of Oxman’s Twin City Luggage, has closed her family’s business after 84 years.

Known by many of her clients as the Twin Cities Bag Lady, Oxman has operated the luggage company for 32 years, including exactly 29 years in its last home along Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis. After decades of developers approaching her about selling the current Oxman’s building, she said the latest deal, this time from Holiday Stationstores, was too good to pass up.

Oxman called it a “double whammy from an emotional point of view.”

“It’s been very, very bittersweet on my part. I’ve had a lot of tearful moments, obviously being that not only the fact that I was tied to that building for so many years, but of course the business for much longer,” she told The Journal. “I’m going to miss my customers, the many relationships that I had made with so many customers, so many people over the years. That’s what I’m going to miss the most.”

The sale of the building near Central & 7th to Bloomington-based Holiday was filed earlier this month, according to a certification of real estate value. Holiday, which operates a gas station adjacent to the Oxman’s building, has proposed expanding its location as a joint project with White Castle.

Plans submitted to the City Planning Commission in August called for the two companies to demolish their current buildings, the Oxman’s building and another low-rise building. In their place would go a similarly sized White Castle restaurant and a nearly 6,000-square-foot Holiday station — four times larger than the previous station — with a carwash.

Oxman’s grandfather, Joe Oxman, founded the business in Minneapolis in 1932. The store at 620 Central Ave. NE in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood closed in mid-November. Oxman went just a short time of retirement before applying for a job, she said, and she’ll soon start working at a Twin Cities department store.