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BIZ BUZZ: Morey's Seafood Markets to move, Jefferson Lines announces new fares

Morey's Seafood Markets is moving across Highway 371 in Baxter. Morey's, the lakes area fish and speciality food shop, is moving into vacant space next to Von Hanson's Meat Market. Morey's plans to close at its current store on May 11 and reopen ...

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Map showing the routes of Jefferson Lines. Jefferson Lines announced it is offering better value fares along two of its northern Minnesota routes - the Northwoods Corridor, which includes Brainerd, and the Iron Range Corridor.

Morey's Seafood Markets is moving across Highway 371 in Baxter.

Morey's, the lakes area fish and speciality food shop, is moving into vacant space next to Von Hanson's Meat Market. Morey's plans to close at its current store on May 11 and reopen in the new space on May 21 in time for Memorial Day.

Paul Burton, general manager, said the move won't increase the store's footprint and the change isn't about space.

"It's about better exposure and easier access for customers to get to us," Burton said. He said the move to be next to Von Hanson's Meat Market and adjacent to West Side Liquor on Audubon Way will help increase the store's drawing power to reel in customers.

"We believe that the combination of a fish and seafood shop, meat market and liquor store all conveniently located together with easy access off of Highway 371 will be a winning combination for customers and provide a boost to all three businesses."

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Morey's has been in the Baxter Village for eight years. Baxter Village was designed to be a multi-phase construction with diverse shopping, but a number of things happened - including the Great Recession - and that dream was never completely realized. Burton said the draw they were expecting from a shopping center didn't happen. Now the move across the highway to an area with complementary shops is expected to have more of a drawing power.

Burton said no major changes are planned. The store will have the same circular flow. They are adding TV monitors in the store to show short videos on how to bake salmon or how to do lobster tail.

Some people have asked if the restaurant will be coming back. Burton said they won't be bringing the restaurant tables back, although they do have food ready to eat offerings in the deli, fresh and frozen fish and unique grocery items.

Nor-Son Inc. is handling the construction with St. Cloud Refrigeration. Burton said they'll be able to use their existing equipment, add walls for the kitchen preparation and office, put in a new countertop and cabinets. Morey's will close its store on May 11 to accommodate the move of equipment.

Morey's Seafood Markets has been on Highway 371 since 1978.

"The concept of a gourmet food store with a focus on fish and seafood was first conceived of and constructed by Loren and Kathy Morey. The original Baxter store had Iven Hudalla as general manager. Iven eventually went on to found Iven's on the Bay restaurant on North Long Lake," Morey's reported. "Morey's Seafood Markets in Motley and Baxter are a family owned and operated business run by Steve and Ellen Frank, their daughter Elsye and her husband Paul Burton along with 15 to 20 other staff. Elsye is the fourth generation Brainerd lakes area family."

In a written statement, Steve Frank said, "I am really excited about this new location and grateful for the deep outstanding support we have received from our customers and the community."

As for that iconic fish now atop the Baxter Village sign, Burton said the plan is to move it. But Burton said they'll need a conditional use permit from the city of Baxter again as one was required to put the fish up when Morey's moved to the Baxter Village eight years ago. Since the fish has been on the Highway 371 strip for 37 years, Burton said, "It should be grandfathered in."

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The summer blockbuster movie season is getting an early start this weekend with the Avengers: Age of Ultron. Mann Theatres' Lakes 12 in Baxter recently added another draw for midweek moviegoers with $5 Tuesdays for all movies. There is an additional cost for 3D movies, however. There is also a free 46-ounce popcorn with the purchase of any fountain drink. Go to www.MannTheatres.com for more information.

Jefferson Lines announced it is offering better value fares along two of its northern Minnesota routes - the Northwoods Corridor, which includes Brainerd, and the Iron Range Corridor.

The new fares range from $5 to $25 one way.

"Offering flat, easy to remember fares is part of our efforts to better serve our customers and boost ridership along these two corridors," said Kevin Pursey, director of marketing at Jefferson Lines in a news release. The Northwoods Corridor connects Fargo and Duluth with a break stop in Brainerd. It operates five days a week - Thursday through Monday - and serves a total of 11 communities.

Jefferson Lines reports the route is anchored by company-owned locations in both Fargo and Duluth. Passengers can now travel anywhere on the Northwoods route for a flat $15 (one zone only) or $25 (both zones) one way. Connecting bus schedules are available in Fargo, Brainerd, and Duluth.

The Iron Range Corridor serves Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, and Duluth with flat $5 fares between cities. Passengers can ride the whole corridor for $15 one way. The route operates seven days a week with connecting bus services in Duluth to Minneapolis and other destinations.

Jefferson Lines reported fare example include: $5 between Duluth and Virginia; $10 between Hibbing and Duluth; $5 between Hibbing and Grand Rapids; $15 Fargo to Brainerd; $15 Detroit Lakes to Brainerd; $15 Brainerd to Duluth; $15 Crosby to Duluth; $25 Fargo to Duluth; $25 Detroit Lakes to Cloquet.

For more information about Jefferson's new Northern Minnesota pricing, go to www.jeffersonlines.com/pricing or call the Duluth Depot at 218-722-5591 or the Fargo Depot at 701-293-1222.

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Founded in 1919, Jefferson Lines is a Minnesota-based company with an area of service over 13 states from Wisconsin to Montana and Minnesota to Texas, with over 50 rural communities in Minnesota alone.

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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