New signs, bigger kitchen unveiled

New siding and a new sign greet patrons at BigFoot Gas, Grocery and Deli in Vining.

By Chad Koenen


A new remodeling project in the tiny town of Vining has become quite the talk of the community. That is saying a lot for a community that boasts a giant foot and toe, an alien, dancing utensils and even a larger-than-life football. 

Over the past 22 years, BigFoot Gas, Grocery and Deli has become as much a part of the community as the giant toe and foot that sits on the west side of town. In a town of just 80 residents, people are greeted with a loud hello and chicken is constantly being cooked nearby the entrance. One almost has to try to avoid people they know having coffee when they walk indoors and there is an never-ending supply of bait in the back of the store.

After all, when you are the only gas station and bait store in town, you kind of turn into a one-stop shop for everything a community and visitors may need on a daily basis.

The inside of BigFoot has been transformed and features a large open cooler with items to purchase.

In order to meet the continued demand for the next generation of patrons, BigFoot Gas Grocery and Deli went through an expansive remodeling project over the past year. After purchasing the Vining staple a few years ago, Rahns Oil began looking at ways to improve the popular destination.

The remodeling project began in July 2021, but supply issues with the new tile resulted in a portion of the project being delayed until this spring.

“They did as much as they could, unfortunately, due to product availability, only half of the tile came in. They finished up about 1 1/2 months ago. They did a phenomenal job.”

Dave McDowell, Bigfoot store manager

In addition to new tile, the front entrance was moved, four feet were added to the kitchen and new windows were added to the west side of the building, which overlook the popular Nyberg Park. New tables were added on the west side of the building to provide an additional place to gather and look over the giant elephant, football and alien statues nearby. 

Photo by Chad Koenen
The back wall at BigFoot Gas Grocery and Deli now features a large sign that includes many of the local landmarks in the community.

The store was also reorganized to allow for new grocery products, as well as a large cooler section that features new grab and go food. Though the store looks like it came out of a large community and not just a small town in the heart of Otter Tail County, McDowell said those in charge of the redesign didn’t want to simply forget about the roots of Vining. Along the back wall, above the pop coolers, is a mural featuring some of the well known landmarks in the community.

“We wanted to make sure we made it locally with Vining in it,” said McDowell. 

Even the outside of the store was updated as new siding, signage and a canopy was added. While there have been a number of changes at the convenience store, their famous chicken and food staples have remained a focal point at the store. 

The hope was to give both regular customers and potentially new guests the opportunity to enjoy a bit of Vining, while they bite into a big piece of chicken or grab some bait on the way to the lake.