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Biz Buzz: ALDI's proposes building in Baxter

The ALDI grocery store chain is proposing to construct a store just north of Target in Baxter. The plan is for a 17,825-square-foot store on nearly 2 acres near Target with access off Dellwood Drive. The front of the store is proposed on the buil...

ALDI is proposing building a grocery store in Baxter just north of Target off Dellwood Drive, according to plans filed with the city.
ALDI is proposing building a grocery store in Baxter just north of Target off Dellwood Drive, according to plans filed with the city.
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The ALDI grocery store chain is proposing to construct a store just north of Target in Baxter.

The plan is for a 17,825-square-foot store on nearly 2 acres near Target with access off Dellwood Drive. The front of the store is proposed on the building's west side. The remaining land between Mills Ford and Target, about 10 acres after the right-of-way considerations, would be set up as an outlot.

ALDI's expects to hire 14 to 20 workers. The store would be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The city of Baxter is considering ALDI's application for a site plan, preliminary plat, final plat, architectural review and conditional use permit (CUP). The CUP would allow a shared access drive for ALDI and "the existing Mills property located to the north and east."

"No future expansion plans are anticipated by ALDI," Andrew T.Brandel, associate principal and engineer, civil engineering group, wrote in a letter to Baxter. "Due to the nature of the ALDI business model, this site will be initially constructed to fulfill predicted space and parking needs of the grocery store into the future."

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On its website, ALDI describes itself as being a little different than other grocery stores with practices it says helps keeps prices lower. Customers put in a quarter to get a cart and the quarter is returned to them when the cart comes back to the rack. The company reports this helps it keep prices low. It accepts cash, debit or EBT cards but no checks or credit card purchases. Customers bring their own bags or can buy reusable ones at checkout.

"While a typical supermarket carries about 30,000 items, we sell only about 1,400 of the fastest moving grocery items - most of which are our high-quality brands. Smaller inventory means smaller stores, which leads to lower rent and electricity costs. This allows us to pass the savings on to you."

ALDI has a few slogans on its website, saying people can't eat frills so why pay for them and when deciding between eating well and saving money, always choose both. Speculation of ALDI's joining the Baxter business landscape has been ongoing for many months.

Other projects going to the city of Baxter for consideration include Prestige Auto Sales, a used auto dealership with two employees just south of Baxter Liquor Mart on Dellwood Drive where the Enterprise car lot was located. There is a formal request to add three pay-at-the-pump gas pumps at Von Hanson's off Highway 371 in Baxter. The city also received a request from Morey's for a building permit to take over floor space at Von Hanson's.

Destiny Cruises, operating the North Star yacht on Gull Lake, reported Michele Baker is the new general manager with extensive experience in the cruise boat and hospitality industry. Baker is from Breezy Point. Depending on the weather, Destiny Cruises noted it may be back on Gull Lake by Ernie's in early May.

Workplace Wellness takes center stage at Business After Hours event later this month. Crow Wing County Community Services and Essentia Health are hosting a Business After Hours to give participants an opportunity to learn how Crow Wing Energized is supporting employee wellness. There are $500 grant opportunities for local businesses. Business After Hours is a networking event of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce. The event is 4:30-6 p.m. April 14 at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center River Room in Brainerd.

The Workplace Wellness strategy support funding of $500 helps a business complete an organizational assessment, commit to one workplace wellness strategy and receive $400 to implement the strategy. Another $100 is received to celebrate successfully affecting employees' health. Grassroots ideas to improve health communitywide are welcome.

Crow Wing Energized is expected to provide an update on activities thus far. The free event is open to chamber members.

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RENEE RICHARDSON, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz .

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Related Topics: ALDIBAXTER
Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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