2019 Top 10 Stories: Honorable mention — Public vote determines final Destination Downtown Business Challenge winner

Crow Wing Food Co-op board member Jennifer Jacquot-Devries (right), next to co-op President Theresa Woodward, speaks at the podium after the co-op won the third and final Destination Downtown Business Challenge Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce Celebration of Excellence annual dinner event at Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Crow Wing Food Co-op was the people’s choice for the final Destination Downtown Business Challenge, which offered $65,000 as the largest grand prize in the three years of the contest.

The co-op was the grand prize winner after 9,000 votes were cast to pick the winning business idea from the final three, which were whittled down from 73 applicants. Loidé Oils & Vinegars and Minnesota Makerspace, the other finalists, each gained prizes valued at $35,000.

New this year was the public voting piece to determine the winner.

Past contest winners were Brenda Billman-Arndt of Purple Fern Bath Co. in 2017 and Marie Kirsch with Knotty Pine Bakery in 2018.

Visit for the rest of the Brainerd Dispatch's 2019 Top 10 list.


— Renee Richardson

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