BAXTER—When it comes to Thanksgiving, tradition is strongly intertwined with the meal that brings loved ones together at the table. Yet there are definite differences when it comes to whipped topping and the preference for Reddi Wip or Cool Whip—spray can or round tub. Just a quick Google confirms the struggle pervades even the internet, with Reddi Wip vs. Cool Whip showing up as though it's a prize fighter bout or a renowned court case.
When the call came to a Pillager home announcing they were $2.5 million winners, Louise Pilgrim was speechless. Pilgrim regularly takes part in the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes so it was possible. But the retiree was too savvy to be taken in so quickly. "I couldn't believe it, that I'd be that lucky," she said. The caller even asked her to put her husband on the phone. "He sounded so real."
Black Friday is on—just think of it more as Black Friday week.
Marie Kirsch's vision to create a modern take on her grandmother's kitchen for a downtown Brainerd bakery is the winner of the Destination Downtown Business Challenge.
NISSWA—Lindsay Topp always had an interest in products people could feel good about buying and feel good wearing. She opened her BluPaisley Boutique in Nisswa with those goals, growing the business and its reputation for the past five years. A finalist in the Destination Downtown Business Challenge, Topp is looking to expand and open a boutique in downtown Brainerd. Opening a second boutique in a larger city provides an opportunity to benefit both locations, tap into a year-round population and serve as the online order hub for the boutiques' e-commerce.
As a finalist for the $50,000 prize with the Destination Downtown Business Challenge, Mark Nesheim's vision for Sourdough Sam's Cook Shanty creates several businesses that feed each other. The combination of a homestyle bakery, scratch-cooking diner, a catering company—and potential for a small store offering downtown Brainerd residents grocery staples—links all together. Combining provides savings and efficiencies for each as they use each other's products, limiting waste and providing additional revenue through retail sales.
Marie Kirsch's vision is to create a modern take on her grandmother's kitchen. Kirsch is one of three finalists for the second Downtown Destination Business Challenge. Her dream for a full bakery with a downtown storefront is one of the entrepreneurial dreams brought to the front burner in a community-driven effort for a revitalized downtown Brainerd.
Planet Fitness is joining the lakes area landscape with a 13,000-square-foot center in the Westgate Mall, meaning if Herberger's is going to come back as a physical storefront in the future it won't be filling its old anchor spot. Becky Zirlen, senior public relations manager with Planet Fitness world headquarters in New Hampshire, reported the fitness center caters to first-time and casual gym goers who may have never belonged to a gym before.
CROSBY—The first sign of trouble was ordinary, easy to dismiss and little indication of the life-threatening peril that lay ahead. Autumn weather had already deepened into the bleak late fall of November 2017 when Desiree Thoemke had the first indication something wasn't right. Her feet began itching. A working mother of two, she was on her feet all the time. Thoemke was looking forward to moving up in responsibility at her job at Costco. A single mom living in Brainerd, she had a son in elementary school and an infant daughter.
Three finalists are now in the final stretch before the winner of the second Destination Downtown Business Challenge is named next month. Dreams, energy and enthusiasm are all traits in common for the final three, who are seeking a $50,000 prize to help start their business in downtown Brainerd. They have visions to bring a bakery back to the downtown, to open a homestyle restaurant with made-from-scratch bread, and to bring a colorful boutique with an emphasis on fair trade and the retail experience.