After 29 years on Front Street, Bethany Book Store is moving from its downtown Brainerd location into the former Champion auto store in Baxter.
Owner Tim Gehrls said the move will nearly double the size of his store, increasing the store selling floor space from 2,200 square feet to 3,900 square feet. Gehrls is working with Close-Converse Commercial and Preferred Properties to lease out the building's east side. Gehrls said there are prospective tenants.
The building's west side will include the book and gift store along with a small coffee shop.
Gehrls said the building will allow room to expand, add inventory and create an atmosphere by making it more convenient to customers see all the departments. Other considerations include expanding into new merchandise and gift areas. In addition, Gehrls said a customer service department will be expanded to deal with more detailed orders, which will streamline things for those customers who want to make a quick purchase of a book or gift card. The store also is expanding evening hours.
Bethany Book Store will close its Front Street location by early afternoon on April 6 and reopen in the new location on April 10.
Gehrls has been working on the move for more than a year. He looked for store locations in downtown, on Washington Street and in east Brainerd before the former Champion store became an option.
"It's the hardest thing I'm going to do," Gehrls said of moving, "because downtown is great, great people and great business. And I have lifelong friends and it's going to be hard. ... It was a great place to be, but the opportunity came."
Gehrls has been in business in Brainerd for 31 years this summer. The Bethany Book Store began in 1938 in northeast Brainerd.
BISYS began trading its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. In a symbolic gesture, Lynn Mangum, BISYS chairman and chief executive officer, rang the NYSE's opening bell.
Green Mill Restaurant has new owners. Maxwell Hospitality, Baxter, took over the business on March 1 purchasing the restaurant from Jack Ruttger.
Michael Borgie, Maxwell Hospitality president, said he has been in the hospitality industry for 28 years. Maxwell Hospitality also is looking at the potential of purchasing other properties in Baxter. Borgie said the Green Mill looked like a good opportunity on Brainerd's south side with a solid lunch business and busy meeting rooms.
He said the goal now is to concentrate on the local business and improve customer service. Borgie said business is up about 5 percent compared to last year. The restaurant will be remodeled with new furniture and recovered booths in the next three to four weeks. Borgie said a new menu was unveiled just before they purchased the restaurant.
Potlatch reported the regular quarterly dividend on the company's common stock. The dividend of 15 cents per share is payable June 3 to stockholders of record on May 8.
CBS's "The Amazing Race" TV show begins Monday with area contestants Cyndi and Russell Kalenberg, East Gull Lake. The Kalenbergs are unable to talk about their experience until the show's results are aired.
On www.cbs.com, their adventure is tracked with a description of the pair -- as married parents -- and a short question and answer. Questions include what comfort item from home the couple expected to miss the most as they traveled through remote locations around the globe.
Cyndi said "laptop computer and slippers" and Russell said "king-size pillow."
On the CBS Web site for the TV show, the Kalenbergs stated they decided to be on the show "to face the challenge of racing around the world, seeing all the beautiful locations, but most importantly, building a lifetime memory with each other."
Video Update has new owners.
Going to the corporate Web site for Video Update now takes viewers directly into the Movie Gallery Web address. Video Update on Washington Street in Brainerd, confirmed Movie Gallery is the new owner, but stated a new name is not planned and customers should see little change other than new programs and more specials.
American National Bank relocated to its new offices on Woida Road in Baxter as of last Monday.
Protection Force, also known as P-For Inc., has applied for a revolving loan fund from the city of Brainerd and has plans to lease space in the city. The company specializes in the design of customized security plans and procedures for dealing with violence on school campuses and corporate offices. Information submitted to the city includes plans for seven employees in the area within the first two years and wages to exceed an average of $20 per hour. Business owner is Patrick Sergott.
Efforts are under way to put Minnesota-grown buffalo products in grocery stores. Last year the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute began working with more than 100 bison producers to find a statewide market for bison products. AURI announced a February product unveiling pointed to the effort's success. Minnesota Premium Bison is a producer marketing club established to help market and expand the state's bison industry.
A free guide to starting a business in Minnesota is now available. Published by the Small Business Assistance Office at the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development, the guide has a summary of major issues when starting a business in the state.
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