Biz Buzz: Curbside options abound

Best Buy adds delivery through Instacart, Mann Theatres brings back curbside movie popcorn, Quarantingo is back in business and more businesses are working through this challenging time to encourage customers to shop local this season.

Construction continues on the new Starbucks along Washington Street in east Brainerd. Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

Mann Theatres is reintroducing curbside pickup for movie popcorn, snacks and beverages like icees and sodas, starting Saturday, Nov. 21.

The curbside pickup is from 1-7 p.m. People just need to drive up with their order between those hours and it will be delivered curbside. Prices for items from the popcorn to candy are listed on the company’s website and under Lakes 12.

A number of things are returning to what we experienced in the spring, but this time with the coronavirus here in our midst more than it was then. Businesses are offering robust curbside pickup and online ordering from the big box stores to main street small businesses. So when looking for items to cover shopping lists, take the time to see if a local business has something to offer, get a unique gift and help a neighbor keep their business going and retain local jobs.

RELATED: Biz Buzz: Evolving retail, what changes are here to stay?
There are so many options now to get items without having to go out and shop or be with a group of people and support local stores.

Brainerd Lakes Area Quarantingo is now back in action with the Holiday edition on Dec. 3 and Dec. 17 so check it out on Facebook and find another way to support local businesses.


Contactless pickup and delivery

Best Buy just added delivery through Instacart so whether it’s a TV or an ink cartridge, home electronics or a tech gift, it can all be delivered to your door. Instacart also delivers groceries, sundries, alcohol and meats from a variety of area stores.

Also online orders can be placed with specific retailers and then picked up within a short time at area small businesses in addition to Ace Hardware, Target, Kohl’s, Cub Foods, Aldi, Dick’s Sporting Goods, PetSmart, Walmart, Walgreens and Best Buy and Costco — this isn’t an exhaustive list but provides a sampling in a full field of businesses offering curbside services. Some are really set up for this new shopping option since this spring. At some big box stores customers drove up at regular intervals to the designated parking spaces while other stores moved away from a highly visible and specifically marked curbside pickup area as the summer progressed and more people went into stores with face masks and with place markers to encourage social distancing through the checkout process. Now expect those curbside services to grow and be more prominent. Aldi announced grocery curbside pickup is now available in Baxter and is expanding weekly at its stores nationwide.

So check with your store of choice to see what curbside options you have. Frankly, the list of places without a curbside pickup or delivery option would be much smaller than all those now offering this accommodation.

For those making online orders, many retailers send emails when orders are ready for pickup and have designated and numbered parking spots for curbside pickup. Customers simply check in on their smartphones and the online order is brought out to their vehicle. So orders can be added that way without shipping charges.

Don’t forget the gift of creativity — there are many options to choose from and this is just a sampling from our area

This holiday season offers a chance to connect with local businesses while providing family fun for creativity whether that’s do it yourself kits from cookie decorating from Knotty Pine Bakery, DIY Traveling Art Pub handcrafted art kits to-go or Minnesota Makerspace DIY kits — all from downtown Brainerd.



Hometown Holidays

Downtown Brainerd businesses are offering a Hometown Holidays rewards card. People can pick it at participating businesses, get an initial for each purchase made at the businesses. Visit five businesses and be entered to win a Downtown Holiday Prize Package valued at over $500, the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce reported. Drop off the completed card with at least five of the card’s circles marked at the store by Dec. 12 at Purple Fern Bath Co., or Knotty Pine Bakery or 612 Station.

Project updates

The Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union drive-thru is now open at the South Sixth Street location in Brainerd. The credit union reported face-to-face services will take place at the temporary location at 415 Front St. by appointment only until the main office construction is completed in December. The credit union has been renovating its longtime location in downtown Brainerd. Construction began in July, including changes to the landscaping, including removal of trees around the credit union.

The Starbucks in east Brainerd on Washington Street next to Jimmy John’s restaurant is taking shape with construction ongoing at the site with Baratto Brothers. Crews were busy on the scene Friday morning, Nov. 20.

Get the word out

How is your lakes area business taking on this challenging time? If you have a project or a twist on how you are making this work or are adding options to connect with customers, let us know at or connect via Twitter @Dispatchbizbuzz or call 218-855-5852.

Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at



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 or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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