Community opens wallets to help Northfield pizza barn destroyed by tornado

The popular pizza place was also a coveted wedding venue.
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Community members fond of the popular Northfield pizza place destroyed in a tornado last week are rallying to help the owners rebuild the barn. 

A GoFundMe for the owners of Red Barn Farm, located on the southeast side of Northfield, has generated more than $18,000 in the five days since the tornado was powerful enough to completely level the building. 

"Just to settle all the concerns, the insurance will only cover a portion of the costs to rebuild what the Red Barn Farm had and doesn’t cover many other things," said the GoFundMe creator, Sarah Stringer. "The money raised IS going towards rebuilding the barn."

The twister was rated an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which measures tornado wind speeds on a scale of zero to five, with five being the strongest. An EF-1 is capable of producing winds of 86-110 mph. 

The owners of the barn were inside when the tornado hit. They posted to Facebook the day after saying their family and pets made it out ok. 

"We had a guardian angel last night," they wrote. 

It was one of two possible tornadoes that struck Northfield during the Sep. 20 tornado outbreak, and one of up to 10 that struck on a line from southwest of Mankato all the way to the Cannon Falls/Red Wing area. 

Red Barn Farm is known for making made-to-order wood-fired pizzas while welcoming patrons to live music throughout the summer in Northfield. It's also a coveted wedding venue in Minnesota, with wedding dates at there booked out two years in advance. 

Slinger says her family put everything they had into morphing a 100-year-old rustic barn into a "nationally known" wedding venue and "hot spot" for wood-fired pizzas.

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In 2015, Explore Minnesota named Red Barn Farm as one of the three premier "pizza farms" in the state

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