The story begins in 1968. Dr. E.O. Thompson Sr., known as "Tom" since college, was an optometrist at Plymouth Optical in Winona. After a change in personnel, he had the local hardware store re-key the office lock. The new keys didn’t work very well. Disappointed, and ever the perfectionist, he disassembled the locks and made it work better. This gave him the idea that Winona needs a real locksmith. For a man that had to stay busy all the time, the locksmithing correspondence course was so slow he opened "Tom's Lock Service before completion in June of 1969. Keeping overhead expenses to a minimum, he ran the business from the back porch of his home.
A 1954 International pick-up was the first locksmithing service truck in Winona. Tom retired from locksmithing in 1983 when he sold the business to his son, Emerit Jr. It was now time to move the business out of the house and offer full-time service to the Winona area. Steady growth brings us to our present site in historic downtown Winona.
As fate would have it, the same storefront once housed “Gus’s Shoe Repair” who also was a locksmith in the 50’s. Tom bought out Gus’ inventory of keys and key machinery to begin Tom’s Lock Service.