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Biz Buzz - Old grocery store becomes a home for all sorts of bargains

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The Lakes General Store in Pequot Lakes has a wide and varied inventory. 

Owners Kim and Justin Bolz-Andolshek opened the store this spring at the corner of Highway 371 and County Highway 11 in their former family owned grocery store.

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Inventory includes a fishing playset for children, hula hoops, pots and pans, tiki lights, balloons, beauty supplies, snacks, seasonings, party and office supplies, laundry detergent, food choppers and an extensive area of kitchen utensils with name brands like Chef Craft. 

Price points for many items included $1.39 each or a mix of five items for $5. Cooking and cleaning supplies and baby supplies — from rattles to receiving blankets and cutlery to PediaSure drinks and Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder.

There may be a few unexpected items as well, such as a foam map of the United States or the solar system. 

Justin Bolz-Andolshek said the goal is to have quality items at discounted prices and create a bargain store that will attract people to Pequot Lakes. He said popular items included hair accessories, the party, office and kitchen supplies. 

“It’s kind of everything,” he said. 

But, he said,  most surprising was the reaction to the T-shirt deli where people can order custom shirts. They’ve filled orders for shirts for a business grand opening and youth groups, parties and events. 

“I’ve been really surprised by that,” he said of the demand. 

Northern Food King was part of the community for decades. In 2001, Kim and Justin Bolz-Andolshek purchased the store from Kim’s father Richard Andolshek, who started it in 1982. But the arrival of the Supervalu grocery store in May 2010 was too much competition. Northern Food King, at the corner of Highway 371 and Highway 11, closed in March. The new bargain store opened April 11. 

Magnum Machining owner Jerry Bowman decided not to expand at his Deerwood facillity. 

Bowman told the city council earlier this month the former Davis Engineering building outside Deerwood is being purchased and will be the new home for the shipping, receiving and inventory. The Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp. reported the move will allow Magnum Machinging to expand the manufacturing operation within the present facility. 

 Magnum Machinging continues to plan to purchase new equipment and hiring an additional 30 to 40 employees. It will actually accelerate the process, as the company will not have to wait for an expansion to be constructed, BLAEDC reported. 

The tax-increment financing district is not part of the new plan but the city of Deerwood’s revolving loan fund remains for the project. 

This spring, residents appealed a variance application approved by the city’s planning commission for Magnum Machining’s plans to expand at its present facility on South Highway 6 in Deerwood. The issue was before the city council several times. Bowman later withdrew the variance request, which would have allowed the manufacturing plant to expand into a rear-yard setback. 

After Bowman withdrew the request, a citizen petition was filed to have an environmental assessment worksheet done before the construction project could move forward. 

In May, the Deerwood City Council denied the citizen petition for the EAW. 

Wendy’s restaurant in Nisswa opened Friday. 

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5852. 

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889
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