STEVENS POINT – There’s nothing more Midwestern than a Kwik Trip-themed corn maze.
And a Stevens Point dairy farm has brought that to life with a Nature’s Touch milk bottle, a Karuba coffee cup, a fuel pump and the classic Kwik Trip farewell line “See you next time!” carved in almost 12 acres of corn.
Feltz’s Dairy Store, 5796 Porter Drive, partners with companies to feature Wisconsin brands in its corn maze every year, including Culver’s, TDS Fiber and Busch Light.
Jake Feltz said Kwik Trip was a good fit because it has a very strong identity throughout the state, and the La Crosse-based company generates a lot of excitement with whatever the company does.
Feltz said the family reached out to Kwik Trip last fall to start talking about featuring Kwik Trip in the 2022 corn maze, which opens Sept. 10, and after a few questions, he said things moved along quickly. Kwik Trip’s design team created a rough draft of the corn maze design, and Feltz’s Dairy worked it into something that would fit in the field.
The end result also includes a Kwik Trip building, pizza, bananas, burgers and more intertwined in the design.
The Kwik Trip team said it was easy to say yes to this project. Alta Bradford, the company’s brand and product design manager, said the design team enthusiastically agreed to help design the corn maze.
“As designers, we naturally love to solve design challenges, and the bigger the better,” Bradford said.
April Hoesly, Kwik Trip’s district leader, said she was excited when the opportunity came up, especially as Feltz’s Dairy Store offers a wide variety of events and tours, and the business supports other local events.
“Feltz’s Dairy Store has been a staple in the community for years,” she said. “Many of the area schools take the kids to the pumpkin patches and dairy tours, which leads the families to the corn maze, so naturally it is a community all fall events.”
Hoesly said partnering and designing the corn maze was a great opportunity to support another family business and showcase Kwik Trip’s support for communities.
The idea of a convenience store designing a corn maze might sound like an unusual project, but Bradford said it wasn’t really that surprising for her team, as they often get requests to design in unusual media. The team has designed wraps for vehicles, Zambonis and even a life-sized fiberglass cow, and they designed a barn silo to look like a Karuba coffee cup.
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While the design team embraces unique and creative ways to communicate, designing a corn maze, was a new challenge. Bradford said the whole design team brainstormed many different ideas as they researched other corn mazes to see what was possible. They then worked to refine the design, and they designed additional materials like posters, T-shirts and more promotional items for the maze.
Kwik Trip’s design team then talked with Feltz and tweaked the design to fit the field, and Feltz said he took the design to a friend who is an engineer who programmed the design into his software. That file was then sent to the planting team who used it in the planters to plant the corn maze.
“We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of detail that is possible with corn and (how) much of our original (design) came through,” Bradford said.
Feltz said the design work takes the longest amount of time when creating the corn mazes. The initial design work started in January, and the maze was planted in May, he said.
The maze will open Sept. 10 and run through Oct. 29. Guests can wander through the maze from 10 am to 5 pm Mondays through Fridays, 10 am to 3 pm Saturdays and 10 am to 2 pm Sundays. The last tickets of the day will be sold about an hour before the maze closes each day.
According to the Feltz’s Dairy Store website, the maze takes about 35 to 60 minutes to complete, but there are options to exit after about 20 minutes. There are seven scavenger hunt locations throughout the maze, as well. The maze will transform into a Haunted Corn Maze – or Feltz’s Fear Farm – from 6:15 pm to 10 pm Oct. 21 through 29.
Bradford said Kwik Trip’s design team members love what they do, and they enjoy engaging with the communities they serve.
“The team is looking forward to making a field trip to the farm and experiencing the maze for ourselves,” Bradford said. “Getting to see it and also see others enjoying it will be awesome.”
Contact Caitlin at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @CaitlinShuda.