Lakes Area Mailing Inc. opened its doors earlier this month as a new business enterprise.
Owners James and Minna Wallin and Chuck and Donna Klein purchased equipment from the now closed Cimarron Mailing business. Cimarron Printing and Mailing, located on Northwest Fourth Street, closed about a month ago. A sale sign now sits outside the building.
Wallin said the new business gained from equipment and employees from Cimarron. The mailing company addresses, inserts and mails items for customers. Clients and jobs range from In-Fisherman publication renewal notices to Universal Pensions Inc. to Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corporation mailings.
Lakes Area Mailing has a permit to work with the U.S. Post Office and uses an automated system to presort mail. Wallin said the feature allows the business to offer clients a reduced mail rate. Wallin said the nearest facility offering the same type of work is in St. Cloud.
Craig Kienholz, Lakes Area Mailing Inc. foreman, put envelopes through their paces at the new company's facilities in the Brainerd Industrial Park. The business is located in offices formerly used by Image Rotomolding. (Dispatch Photos by Renee Richardson)
Using leased warehouse space formerly occupied by Image Rotomolding staff and equipment, the mailing business has ink jet printers, sorting and inserting machines and storage stacks.
Clients typically provide an address list via e-mail or computer disk and the mailing business handles the work the post office would do. Mailings are boxed according to postal ZIP codes and separated for trips to Minneapolis or Birmingham, Ala., before they reach the post office.
Wallin said he is convinced the business will thrive in the area. Two more employees will be added before early November. Wallin worked with BLADC to establish the business.
"There is an absolute need and there is no one else in town," Wallin said.
Lakes Area Mailing expectations are for $1 million in sales the first year. The business is already negotiating for a lease that would add cold storage space.
Wallin said the business filled space leased with Image Rotomolding. Image Rotomolding Enterprises, Inc. in Brainerd announced the elimination of 24 jobs and the closing of an entire division in the company in May.
Craig Kienholz, Lakes Area Mailing foreman, said he expects an average week to include running 100,000 to 200,000 pieces of mail.
"We plan on doubling, tripling in size in the next year," Wallin said, adding accounts are expected to come outside the Brainerd are from Minneapolis and as far as New York. "There is a need here like you wouldn't believe."
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