The Teashoppe Gallery recently opened on Excelsior Road in Baxter.
Owner Susanne Hohlen said she specializes in the fine loose teas and tea accessories from tea pots to tea cozies.
"You name it, I have it," she said, adding her goal is to have quality items that are affordable "because most of us are on a budget and it's always nice to find a nice thing for $10 or $15."
Hohlen, a Dane, has a few Danish items in the store. She plans to add a tea station in order to have samples or a tea of the day for customers to try. Hohlen was inspired after visiting a tea shop in Minneapolis last fall. She purchased two ounces of tea and took mental notes. Then she opened her own upstairs shop on the west end of the Salon El Rio building. She is a distributor of Garden of Spice goat milk soap. The shop includes an art gallery promoting local talent. Other items include Scandinavian colorful felt coin purses.
Eventually, Hohlen would like to have workshops, perhaps 10-12 people on tea-related topics and meet-the-artist gatherings. The space could be used for quilting or sewing groups, she said. In addition to the tea and gifts, Hohlen said there are other benefits.
"A nice cup of tea is just a nice experience," she said. "It's a moment of tranquility."
Quick Lane, a tire and automotive service center at Mills Ford in Baxter, opened Thursday. The center services all makes and models. John Mattson, who shares manager duties with Monte Becker, said the new feature is something the Ford Motor Co. is doing nationwide. Mattson said the service center is an alternative to dealership environment and offers quick efficient services open to all, along with a full line of tires. Car washes are included with every visit. The center will offer oil changes and other services. Mattson said prices will be competitive with other service providers in the area.
"We feel its a good opportunity to provide better service to the customers," Mattson said.
Dave Spizzo of Breezy Point Resort was elected to a one-year term as board director with the Minnesota Lodging Association at its meeting at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa.
Jon's Auto Body, Pequot Lakes, added U-Haul truck and trailer rentals. Owner Jonathan Nornberg stated he added the rentals because of U-Haul's well-established name and reputation. Nornberg reported the addition including moving vans ranging in size from 10 feet to 26 feet; trailers ranging in size from 4 feet by 6 feet to 6 feet by 12 feet; car-top carriers and trailer rental hitches.
Gary's Painting, which has been in the lakes area for 28 years, recently downsized from about 40 jobs to 15 to 20. Owner Cheryl Andres said the move was a combination of a personal desire to cut back and came at a time of a real estate industry slowdown. The news prompted a few concerns about the business' future plans. But Andres said the business is continuing just on a slightly smaller scale.
"We have no plans of closing down," Andres said.
The Waller House Inn Bed & Breakfast in Little Falls has new owners in Scott And Raquel Lundberg. The couple is from Eagan where Scott Lundberg worked at the Ford Assembly Plant in St. Paul. Raquel Lundberg is a designer and owns a small jewelry business. The Waller House Inn B&B has a gift shop and hosts small parties and corporate meetings as well as hosting guests.
A business woman with lakes area ties was recognized by ROI Central Minnesota magazine as one of five people younger than 40 "who have achieved admirable results through careful orchestration and determination."
Nikki Orton started Up North Basket Co. in 2003. The Sauk Rapids-based business exclusively supplies baskets for the Home Shopping Network. Orton is president of the wholesale/retail company. In an interview for the magazine she listed her favorite pastime as "summers on Gull Lake."
RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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