BIZ BUZZ: Northern Food King to close in Pequot
Northern Food King in Pequot Lakes is closing in the next two weeks.
Kim and Justin Bolz-Andolshek, owners of the long-time Pequot Lakes grocery, said they will open a new business in the place of the grocery store in April.
But they declined to elaborate on what that new business might be. Lakes Latte, which is on the north side of the grocery store building, is staying open and will continue to offer catering services.
“We are deeply saddened as we prepare to close Northern Food King’s doors,” the owners said in a news release. “As a family-owned business our family has proudly served the Pequot Lakes community since 1982.
“... As difficult as it is to close one chapter, we are looking ahead to a new business venture for our family and the community. We look forward to unveiling our plans in the next few weeks.”
One of the difficult parts has been letting people go, the owners said.
Northern Food King employed 47 people about a year ago. That was before the Supervalu opened along Highway 371 just to the south of the Northern Food King, which is near the intersection of First Street and Highway 371 at the stoplight in Pequot Lakes. Northern Food King cut its 30th employee last week.
“We have said from the beginning that a community our size would not be able to support two stores,” Kim Bolz-Andolshek said. “We tried to hang on and continue to serve the community, but there is simply not enough business to support both.”
The Supervalu grocery store opened in May 2010.
In 2001, Kim and Justin Bolz-Andolshek bought the grocery store from Kim’s father, Richard Andolshek, who founded Northern Food King. They estimate they’ve employed hundreds of area residents in the past 30 years.
“This decision was very bittersweet for Justin and me,” Kim Bolz-Andolshek said.
“At the end of the day we simply want to express our gratitude to the years of wonderful employees and customers. We hope that in bringing something new to our town, we will continue to service our community and create local jobs.”
Wendy’s restaurant construction at the corner of Highway 371 and County Highway 77 in Nisswa is expected to begin in mid-March.
Caribbean Beach Tanning Salon opened its second location just off the Highway 371 and Woida Road intersection in Baxter. The salon’s first location is off Excelsior Road in Baxter near Super One Foods. The new salon opened a few weeks ago in the retail center near Starbucks.
The Minnesota Association of Realtors recently reported the state’s real estate market “continues to improve as home prices fell and inventory levels declined. Statewide, closed transactions increased by 10.6 percent over sales in December, while inventory fell 19.4 percent in January 2011 compared to the previous year. Lower inventory levels will help balance the demand between those seeking to sell and those wanting to buy.”
“While transaction numbers in January were strong, home prices fell as consumers bought bank-owned properties and short sales” the association reported. “These distressed sales depress overall prices as excess inventories and normal market conditions are influenced by the overall economic slowdown.
“Consumers seeking homes are looking for bargains and often purchase homes that fall into the distressed category. These purchases are often at lower prices as banks look to unload inventory at prices below typical market conditions.”
For January, the association reported closed sales in Brainerd increased 12.9 percent. In other cities, the closed sales increased by: 35.5 percent in Duluth; 22.2 percent in Alexandria; 22.7 percent in Fergus Falls; 43.8 percent in Detroit Lakes; 10.8 percent in the Twin Cities metro. The only decrease listed among 11 regions or cities in the state was a 10.9 percent drop in closed sales in St. Cloud.
Reichert Bus Service of Baxter donated transportation to take soldiers between the National Guard Armory in Brainerd to the recent Family Preparation Academy for deploying soldiers at Cragun’s resort. Reichert donated the buses and drivers donated their time to shuttle the soldiers and their families.
RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.