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Biz Buzz: A spring of losses and gains: Bette Mae's to close in Baxter. Brainerd General Rental moves into new building

Bette Mae's, with its kitchen gadgets, nostalgic candy and unique children's toys among other offerings, announced it is closing in the Westgate Mall. Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch1 / 3
Bette Mae's opened in 2016 with an eclectic mix of kitchen items, children's toys and books, home decor, clothing and gifts and expanded to include a coffee shop and candy. Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch2 / 3
A Leech Lake Casino and Hotel is going up along Highway 2 in Cass Lake. Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch3 / 3

Bette Mae's, the eclectic store with kitchen gadgets and out of the ordinary children's toys, is closing.

Cathy Hughes' store opened Oct. 1, 2016, in the Westgate Mall. She had the specialty shop and coffee shop, later expanding into a candy story as well. At the time, Hughes said the coffee shop wasn't part of the initial plan but she had the experience and with no place in the mall to get coffee, she said put in new equipment and opened it.

Hughes, a long time business owner in the lakes area, was known for getting unique inventory with items that couldn't readily be found at big box stores. Items that lent themselves to whimsy and humor as well as those trending in retail, along with candy that harkened back to the past. Hughes named the store after her mother Bette Mae.

Bette Mae's served as a specialty store selling a wide variety of items, including toys, kitchen, bath and body products, children's books, unique clothing lines, shoes, giftware and home decor.

Hockey House, which earlier reported it was closing its doors in downtown Brainerd, will have its last day Monday. In a tweet, owner Dan Anderson said the last day is May 6.

Brainerd General Rental recently moved into their new digs in the building constructed next to store on Highway 371. The old store, which was once a Taco Town restaurant back in the day, may be demolished Monday, May 6, or Tuesday, owner Steve Mau stated.

Construction continues on the new Leech Lake Casino and Hotel on Highway 2 in Cass Lake.

Renee Richardson

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