NISSWA—Lindsay Topp always had an interest in products people could feel good about buying and feel good wearing. She opened her BluPaisley Boutique in Nisswa with those goals, growing the business and its reputation for the past five years. A finalist in the Destination Downtown Business Challenge, Topp is looking to expand and open a boutique in downtown Brainerd. Opening a second boutique in a larger city provides an opportunity to benefit both locations, tap into a year-round population and serve as the online order hub for the boutiques' e-commerce.
As a finalist for the $50,000 prize with the Destination Downtown Business Challenge, Mark Nesheim's vision for Sourdough Sam's Cook Shanty creates several businesses that feed each other. The combination of a homestyle bakery, scratch-cooking diner, a catering company—and potential for a small store offering downtown Brainerd residents grocery staples—links all together. Combining provides savings and efficiencies for each as they use each other's products, limiting waste and providing additional revenue through retail sales.
Marie Kirsch's vision is to create a modern take on her grandmother's kitchen. Kirsch is one of three finalists for the second Downtown Destination Business Challenge. Her dream for a full bakery with a downtown storefront is one of the entrepreneurial dreams brought to the front burner in a community-driven effort for a revitalized downtown Brainerd.
Planet Fitness is joining the lakes area landscape with a 13,000-square-foot center in the Westgate Mall, meaning if Herberger's is going to come back as a physical storefront in the future it won't be filling its old anchor spot. Becky Zirlen, senior public relations manager with Planet Fitness world headquarters in New Hampshire, reported the fitness center caters to first-time and casual gym goers who may have never belonged to a gym before.
CROSBY—The first sign of trouble was ordinary, easy to dismiss and little indication of the life-threatening peril that lay ahead. Autumn weather had already deepened into the bleak late fall of November 2017 when Desiree Thoemke had the first indication something wasn't right. Her feet began itching. A working mother of two, she was on her feet all the time. Thoemke was looking forward to moving up in responsibility at her job at Costco. A single mom living in Brainerd, she had a son in elementary school and an infant daughter.
Three finalists are now in the final stretch before the winner of the second Destination Downtown Business Challenge is named next month. Dreams, energy and enthusiasm are all traits in common for the final three, who are seeking a $50,000 prize to help start their business in downtown Brainerd. They have visions to bring a bakery back to the downtown, to open a homestyle restaurant with made-from-scratch bread, and to bring a colorful boutique with an emphasis on fair trade and the retail experience.
BAXTER—How an outdoor tow yard with metal fencing topped with barbed wire would fit in Brainerd's Industrial Park had Baxter City Council members seeking additional details before coming to a decision. Baxter Council members voted 3-2 to table the request Tuesday, Oct. 16.
Crews were working long hours as the sun was low on the horizon at the new Brainerd General Rental building site. Hy-Tec Construction, Brainerd, is working on the project and crews were taking advantage of a welcome stretch of days with sunlight and warmer temperatures before the season takes its final turn. Brainerd General Rental's new building, which is going up a stone's throw from its current store, is expected to be completed by spring. The business is along Highway 371, north of Woida Road, near Applebee's. Hy-Tec broke ground on the project on Sept. 7.
BAXTER—Redevelopment has come at last to the former Gander Mountain building and its long forlorn parking lot.
BAXTER—A temporary stop sign on Woida Road will be back and gain permanent status. The Baxter City Council members expressed support to make the stop sign addition part of the regular landscape during a workshop session Tuesday, Oct. 16.