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The Mercantile includes sports memorabilia and a basket of balls. Renee Richardson

The Mercantile opens in former Meyer Cleaners

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After selling their medical supply business after 15 years, Julie LaValle said retirement wasn't that appealing.

It was downright boring. Where the road led next wasn't what she expected.


"I never would have thought I would do a thrift store," she said.

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Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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