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From SHOP & The Clothes // Brewed The Art STYLE // Rack Of Her Dreams

OUTDOORS // Homegrown




Vintage DECOR Mi Minnesota t R Rust’s t’ ffounder d on her best finds, favorite pieces and creating memorable spaces

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32 THE CLOTHES RACK OF HER DREAMS Brianne Osowski is bringing her runway experience—and the custom clothes racks that came with it—to clients looking for a personalized styling session.



10 BREWED WITH A VISION Artist/successful business owner, Kelly Thompson, on life as an artist and running a landmark downtown coffee house.








The growing sport of curling is helping create Grand Fork’s next best gathering spot.

In small town Minnesota, Andrea Stordahl has created an experience, and brand, worthy of HGTV.



54 A CUT ABOVE Guided by family, this butcher shop has become a regional institution.

60 A PLACE TO TASTE THE WORLD Through olive oils and balsalmic vinegars, the team at The Olive Barrel proves out truths on food, quality and good ideas.


20 HOMEGROWN ATTRACTION Todd and Carrie Nelson go behind the scenes of the past, present and future of the region’s pumpkin patch mecca.

40 FIRE FOR THE OUTDOORS Dakota Hunting & Kennel club is an under-the-radar outdoor oasis 10 minutes west of town.




Memorable Moments Producing GRAND What is a story you love to tell?

For me, one of the stories I’ve added to my list comes from the sit-down chat I had with Mike Elgin for this issue of GRAND. I had scheduled an afternoon with Elgin to talk about the past, present and future of his unique lifestyle and business venture. Elgin owns an outdoor person’s dream spot just 10 minutes west of Grand Forks. There, he runs Dakota Hunting & Kennel Club. He’s been living or working there since he was in his late teens. As the full story reveals, his 540-acre-plus offering is positively unique for several reasons. During part of my time with Mike, we sat on leather couches in front of a ireplace he keeps fed with logs to create a perfect atmosphere in the clubhouse lounge area. I will remember that chat with him. He was open and honest about his life as a bird hunting guide, dog trainer, small business owner and unabashed about his love for the business of dogs and the outdoors. He works sun-up to sun-down hours because he has to, and because he loves to. Mike is authentic. The story of Elgin is a great example of a GRAND story. People ask us all the time what we are looking for in our stories. We want authentic people, the experts in their respective ields, to provide us insight into their world—whether it is home and design, style and fashion or in Elgin’s case, the outdoors. Great characters, as we all know, make for great stories. Add in unique places or circumstances with a timely topic and you have the makings of a GRAND story. It sounds a bit over-the-top, but the stories in every issue we produce strive to be memorable or have lasting impact. With Elgin sitting with him in front of that ireplace listening to him talk about Tink, the mama of the six German shorthair dogs he bought, trained and is now unwilling to part with will be hard to forget. The way he talked and stared into the ire, as if he was actually out in the ield, put me in the outdoors there with him and gave me a true sense of what mattered to him. How could I not be moved by the way he described Tink—his favorite dog—and her desire to hunt but inability to do the one thing she loves. Mama Tink is past her prime now but still wants to hunt, he said. When she goes out with other dogs, she gets lost and disoriented. For a German shorthair, that is like a racecar not being able to drive past 5 mph. But, despite his grueling daily schedule and endless list of club duties, Elgin explained to me that Tink still gets out, sometimes never getting close to a bird. “I still take her out. We still go Luke Geiver hunting,” he said. “I take her just me and her.” Thanks Mike for the EDITOR GRAND Lifestyle magazine glimpse into your outdoors world. I’ve never met or petted Tink, but I sure hope to see you both in the ield some time soon. And, thank you to all the other participants in this issue. Brianne Osowski explained her amazing new custom styling offering. Kelly Thompson let us in on his life as an artist and owner of a landmark coffee bar. The team at The Olive Barrel helped us all taste the world. L&M Meats’ team shared the secret to their long-term success, and more importantly, some of their famous homemade beef jerky! Andrea Stordahl took us on a tour of her vintage store. We also got a tour of the GF Curling Club. And Carrie and Todd Nelson spent the morning after their irst grandchild was born talking with us about their adventures in the pumpkin patch world. All of them, as you’ll read, were GRAND. 6

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SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions to GRAND Lifestyle magazine are free of charge to everyone, with the exception of a yearly shipping and handling charge. To subscribe, visit or you can send your mailing address and payment (checks made out to BBI International) to: GRAND Lifestyle magazine/Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203

REPRINTS AND BACK ISSUES Select back issues are available for $3.95 each, plus shipping. Article reprints are also available for a fee. For more information, contact us at 866-746-8385 or

ADVERTISING GRAND Lifestyle magazine provides a specific topic delivered to a highly targeted audience. We are committed to editorial excellence and high-quality print production. To find out more about GRAND Lifestyle magazine advertising opportunities, please contact us at 866-746-8385 or

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR We welcome letters to the editor. If you write us, please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space. Send to GRAND Lifestyle magazine/Letters, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203 or email to

COPYRIGHT Š 2018 by BBI International

CONTRIBUTORS MANSTROM PHOTOGRAPHY Jeremy and Jamie Manstrom make a photoshoot exciting. For this issue, they surprised us with their on-scene creativity for putting the story characters in unique positions for amazing images. //

SUSTAD PHOTOGRAPHY On a windy fall day, Michaela Sustad was able to reveal the warmth and magic of the Nelson Pumpkin Patch. There is no setting she couldn't photo successfully. //

CLOUD 9 PHOTOGRAPHY Caty Larson from Cloud9 Studios in Fertile, Minnesota, found some amazing angles to shoot from for our story on a vintage and antique location. We liked her work so much, we put her image of the stairway to nowhere on the cover. //

RUSS HONS PHOTOGRAPHY Who better to capture the action and ambience of the Grand Forks Curling Club than Russ. His ability to frame movement and detail together is a joy to see. //

DIMENSIONS PHOTOGRAPHY Alesha Hansen, commercial photographer, joined us for a fun shoot in the middle of a field. Her ability to highlight the expanse of an open field or a clubhouse lounge really helped bring the story to light. //


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ART A RT & C CULTURE ULTU // Photos by Manstrom Photography

Kelly Thompson on life as a commercial artist, running a landmark coffee bar and investing in happiness.


Kelly Thompson is hard to de ine.

On a typical day, he can be found serving coffee behind the bar of the historic, downtown landmark coffee house he started 25 years ago. He appears to be in his element there, chatting with the patrons that have gone to Urban Stampede to talk art, study and write in quiet or expound upon the interesting topics of the day with others. Or, to just escape in an electronic screen. He moves around the brewing equipment and the tables and the people sitting at the historic booths as a natural, as if he’s never cared to do anything else. Nothing—at least the doing part—could be further from the truth. When he’s not at Urban, Thompson could be manning an open house, showing his clients the unrealized potential of a new-to-them home or checking on a possible new income property. In addition to being the founder of the region’s longest running coffee house, he is a realtor and property investor. In between coffee duties and working with realty clients, Thompson might also be found designing the latest round of T-shirts or logos for one of his many clients that utilize Ink Inc., for printing and graphics. Located next door to Urban, Thompson has been operating a screen printing business he co-founded nearly three decades ago. Ask him what he truly is, what his title should really be, and his response would be quick and unequivocal. Although he is certainly a proud and successful business owner, property investor and graphic designer, Thompson is an artist. He paints. He believes in reimagining the objects many in the region adore—horizons



'I always had a passion for painting, but I never thought I had the time or ability. I always had a business mind.' Kelly Thompson



broken up by farmhouses, ishing lures, iconic buildingsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; through paint, symmetrical lines, clear images and an easy to decipher personal style. As is typical of Thompson, however, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pin the classic notion of what an artist is, how they work or approach the act, to him. Sure, he has a painting studio in his house, but he does his best work in the dining room next to the kitchen. When its painting season and his supplies are pulled out and ready for use scattered throughout the dining room, he has the ability to work and bring his vision to life, and then, most importantly, to walk away only to go back and igure out what he is going to do next. We sat down with Thompson in one of his famous darkwood booths that line one wall of his landmark coffee house. Fresh-brewed coffee in hand, we freely discussed a loose list of questions. We talked about big ideas, like what art really is, and other big topics, like how to run your own business, in addition to how he successfully manages all of his ventures. He is also a very proud father of three that he has spent many nights cooking for in his kitchen, mac and cheese on the stove, his kids at the table laughing and talking to him while he listened with a paint brush in hand.




ON LOCATION For businesses you need traffic. But, on the flip side, find the right niche and people will seek you out. Aesthetics and perception are a huge part of everything. “The common thread I work with and see as a value is a place’s visual draw.”

ON TIME MANAGEMENT Because he is involved with so many ventures, Thompson spends a lot of time putting out fires. Prioritizing is important. So is having the right people on your staff.

ON STARTING OR OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS Fine tuning your vision and following that vision is important because you can lose your identity. When that happens you lose the motivation to continue through challenging times. Research what you are doing constantly. “Be there,” Thompson says, and hope for some luck. “I’ve been in business for 31 years and I’ve never had an official business plan.”

At the booth, Thompson’s answers all came with personal experiences to back up his comments. The conversation over coffee revealed that he is as interesting and unique as the region has to offer. And, that the best talks we can hope for are the ones with interesting people like Thompson, who can share their experiences in a way that inspires us to take what they’ve learned and try to apply it in some way to our own lives.

The Entrepreneurial Artist Invests In Himself Thompson grew up in the greater Grand Forks region, left after college and then returned to start a screen printing and graphic design business called Ink Inc. His 14 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 4 2018


ON LIVING A GRAND LIFE “I never wake up and dread going to work. I’m in the small minority. The key is to find out what you are good at and what you enjoy and then figuring out how to make a career out of it.”

S O N ON SPACES In the real estate realm, he finds it important to help clients establish pleasing visuals in the home. On the concept of the best spaces (Thompson also co-owns an impressive, magazine-worthy lake cabin), he considers himself a minimalist. “I’m not a clutter person. I like to eliminate things that aren’t relevant.”

ON COMMISSIONING ART OR PICKING OUT YOUR NEXT PIECE Everybody wants art in their home but it takes some longer to make the leap from manufactured art into original. Many people buy art to match their home décor, but Thompson says, in ON HELPING PEOPLE CONNECT the long-run more satisfaction will From the first day of running his screen printing business, Thompson come from a piece that moves them. “In the end, art is meant to make you says he’s understood a basic feel something,” he says. human desire. People want to connect. The screen printing People typically start with something business, like the coffee business, they can relate too, including is good for that. “People have a landscapes painted in realism. Then basic instinct to belong to a group.” they branch out.

longtime business partner, Patti Eider, has worked with and allowed him to run and lead the creative elements of all of his ventures since the early days. In 1993, he acquired the space where Urban Stampede resides to this day. “At the time, the coffee industry was still in its infancy,” he says. The goal was to create a destination for coffee, much like local breweries attempt to do today. “We wanted a space where patrons could converse with baristas and other patrons,” he says. Since its inception, Urban has outlasted more than 10 other coffeelinked locations in the area, an attribute Thompson links to the atmosphere of Urban. “We’ve had so many friendships develop here. People get married after meeting here,” he says. “Our longevity is because people form relationships at Urban.”





Thompson says that Urban brings out a parade of humanity every day the doors are open. He has never had an issue inding employees. Over the years, more than 100 people have worked for Thompson. The goal is to keep the space fresh with new ideas and creativity. To do that, Thompson taps into the abilities of his employees, regardless of their age. Opening additional Ubran-esque locations is always brought up to Thompson, and although he has helped others start similar ventures in other cities, he has always been hesitant to branch out in his hometown. “At some point, it's not all about the money. We already have enough going on,” he says. Like his coffee house, Ink Inc., has been successfully operating since the day it opened. The technology used to print the shirts hasn’t changed in 30 years, but the styles certainly have. That is where Thompson comes in. As a professional graphic artist, he helps clients ind their desired design. “It’s the creative approach and ability we have to bring an idea to life that has made us successful,” he says. As a realtor and investment property owner, Thompson irst got into the business by buying an income property with his then-wife. After learning they were good at inding value in overlooked properties and managing the process, they kept going. Today, Thompson is also an active realtor. As you might imagine, he’s been involved with some of the most unique and interesting properties in the city.



At the age of 40, Thompson fully committed to painting commercially. He quickly found out the job paid well if done right. He produced a full body of work and was able to display the art at a client’s home. “They took all of their art down in this huge home and put up my work. It was a huge success and I sold a number of paintings,” he says. Since that irst in-home gallery showing, he’s produced several other art lines and displayed work in other settings, including professional art galleries throughout the region. “I always had a passion for painting, but I never thought I had the time or ability. I always had a business mind.” Never losing that af inity, Thompson now paints images with the client in mind. His paintings often feature imagery or scenes that people of the region are familiar with and have become drawn too. “It doesn’t feel impressive,” he says of his many accomplishments, in painting or other avenues. “It is just what I enjoy.” G




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Grab your besties and join us for a show that will move you to laughter and tears

Fire Hall Theatre

November 1-17 Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm Sunday @ 2:00 pm 777-4090 to Reserve Tickets Co-produced with Home of Economy and supported by the Women's Fund and the Community Foundation of GF and EGF. Each performance will feature two cameos by local women leaders. (see website for scheduled performers)

by Nora and Delia Ephron

By the way . . . "What's in your closet?" We all have that special outfit or clothing item we can't forget or refuse to get rid of: The apron your grandmother wore while making Sunday dinner. The dress you were wearing when you met your special someone. The jeans you were wearing when you broke up with your special someone! If we select your essay it will be published in our on-line journal, and you and a guest will receive two tickets to see Nora and Delia Ephron's funny and moving play: Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Email your essay by Oct. 31 to

OUTDOORS O UTDOOR // Photos by Sustad Photography


HOMEGROWN A T T R A C T I O N There was a time when the average number of weekend visitors to Todd and Carrie Nelson’s modest, self-run pumpkin patch west of Grand Forks was 50. “Now, we have people that came as kids and are bringing their own

kids,” Todd says. “What used to be 50 for an average weekend is now in the thousands.” Todd, the lifelong farmer, and Carrie, the recently retired elementary teacher, have transformed the area just two miles west of the original Nelson homestead farm—and their lives—with the build-up, build-out and continuous operation of a place that features corn cannons, pumpkin blasters, pork-chops-on-a-stick, old school farm buildings and machinery, traditional hay rides and an atmosphere that the Nelson’s say draw out a similar response from young kids to young adults to old timers. “Most people love being here,” Carrie says. “No matter how old they are, they all say thanks to us for doing this.” Since Carrie irst started growing a pumpkin patch at her husband’s farm east of the Grand Forks Air Force Base to bring her students to, everything has grown. Todd has joined in the business of running the Nelson Pumpkin Patch after a few



years of resisting. The Nelson’s have created their own family, all of whom help with or have taken a inancial stake in the business of the patch. “At the beginning of all of this people thought I was crazy,” Carrie says. Todd’s Grandpa, who raised him and operated the farm prior to Todd, wasn’t keen on the changes to the farm at irst. But if he could see it now. “They would be impressed today,” Todd says of his grandparents. “They would have liked to see how the grain bins are being used. In his day, they put grain in anything they could. Now there is people going into them. They would have liked that and they would have liked visiting with all the people.” There were clear signs along the way that the idea to unite people around pumpkins and fall attractions was worth pursuing. In the early days, people would stop by the farm and pick out pumpkins and leave money in a container. Teachers from schools inside and outside the region continually asked Carrie if they could visit with their students. People just kept coming and coming. When they added a hayride through a set of trees near their main patch, cars would be waiting for long periods, backed up a mile past the entrance for a chance to get a ride. Today, they’re 22 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 4 2018

open for most of the fall, employ roughly 20 on the weekends, take large groups by appointment during the week and on any given day could be hosting a tour bus from somewhere hoping to experience the smells of fall leaves, the steam from a hot chocolate and the feel of a smooth pumpkin against their hands after a ride behind a tractor, no matter their age. “All I’ve ever known is the farm,” Todd says. When people started, then continued to come in larger and larger numbers, he began to understand the opportunity and fun he and his wife could have. In the past ive years of operation, the patch and its offerings have expanded “massively,” they say. To keep the hay-ride enthusiasts happy while they wait, the husband-wife team has learned what it takes to keep people energized and interested in attending a patch after they get their pumpkins or while they wait. “Anything you can ride on, or shoot, people like,” Carrie says with a laugh. In addition to pumpkin blasters, corn cannons and other impressive yard-type games, the Nelsons have added a haunted village and path to walk through, a petting zoo, a kid-friendly grainery bar and several other features. “We always come up with new things to add,” Todd says. “Every year it is the same. We ask, what can we add?” “My mind is always going,” Carrie adds.

Both Todd and Carrie recognize that they are now the pumpkin people. They don’t expect to be referred to as simply the Nelsons. The team has acquired pumpkin patch equipment from equipment suppliers in Louisiana. They have added pumpkin varieties from Missouri. Todd starts pumpkins from seed in winter to grow the massive versions. After starting with a half-acre patch and spreading seed by hand, they now used a custom seeder on more than 10-acres. With some in-house engineering ingenuity, they moved two old wooden grainery cars onto their lot to form their haunted house. A former grain truck has been refurbished for display. To house pumpkins, they’ve built two massive storage sheds. There is no game, attraction or pumpkin patch-ish item that the Nelsons won’t consider for the betterment of the experience. Carrie has always worked to maintain the quaint and natural feel of the place, opting when possible to upcycle items from the farm into attractions or on-site build-

ings. They both stress about the operations and feel pressure to maintain what has become an annual attraction for the region. But, they view their agri-business venture as a part of who they are now. Carrie’s kids like to add to the operation and even have nicknames for their mother that denote her role at the patch. For a long time, Carrie’s mom made pumpkin bars for every Saturday at the patch. On some Saturday nights during the season, they are running to Sam’s Club or scrambling to get things ready for the next day. Not all of the attractions work out, and, the weather is always a crucial component of the success or comfort level of any given day. Both Todd and Carrie recognize that they are now the pumpkin people. They don’t expect to be referred to as simply the Nelsons. In her irst year of retirement from teaching this year, Carrie is looking forward to a full winter to prepare for next year. She’s even looking to add new features and decorations for display or sale at the patch. “There is just so much we can still do,” she says. Todd, who farms with one of his sons when he’s not driving the hayride tractor or moving pumpkins or ixing the corn cannon or helping in some other way at the patch, is elated and inspired by how his wife’s vision has turned out. “I can’t imagine,” he says, “doing anything else.” G


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HEALTH & FITNESS // Photos by Russ Hons Photography


Sweeping the

Community The sport of curling—including the Grand Forks' unique club—is becoming the region’s other ice staple

At only two years old, the Grand Forks Curling Center has the feel of a long-time community staple. The walls are draped with

banners paid for by local businesses. Donor names can be found embedded into bricks or displayed on plaques throughout the halls. Photos showing proud curling teams of the past year— or past decade—are everywhere. Built through funding and volunteer hours from outside groups and several of the members, the facility has a quality that any activity center from the region hopes for. When you walk in and see the main playing area or the viewing

and lounge zones, you get the urge to participate—in all of it. “We built this like people built things in small towns. Everyone provided their skills and volunteered their time,” says Dan Lindgren, secretary for the GFCC. “People wanted to be a part of something that they could be proud of.” As the state’s largest curling facility, the center has a refrigerated ice sheet big enough to host four games at once. A player and viewing lounge was built on the second loor of the building, along with an open-air balcony that allows a unique look at the action from above the ice. The club hosts several leagues for players of all skill sets and also opens its doors for non-curling related functions. At times, Olympic-level curlers use the ice for practice sessions. But throughout most of the year, regulars or beginners are on the ice at the same time for a competitive game or just a chance to spend time with friends and family. Lindgren and his team oversee leagues Monday through Thursday along with



brighter the white bands on a


The Rocks come from Scotland, the same country where the sport started in the 15th century.

4 players per team. The team with the most points after 8 ends (throwing the rocks end-toend) wins. Points are scored based on proximity to center of scoring zone.

Rocks move easier on the ice than you think.

rock, the less jump and movement the rock has on impact with other rocks.

The sport is harder than it looks, but also more fun that it appears.

The Skip

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or captainâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;determines strategy and communicates with sweepers.

Strategy Sweeping is what makes curling a team sport. Sweeping polishes ice in front of rock in an attempt to move the rock further or in a different direction.

Bonspiels= Curling Tournaments Brown tubes running above ice are heaters.


Like chess, there are no right ways to do it.

Delivery requires:

alignment, timing, balance and release.

ICE TRUTHS Making good curling ice requires the same attention a greenskeeper gives to golfing greens. The ice keepers monitor humidity and temperature constantly. They need the right mixture of frost crystals on the ice, along with the right scrapers and pebble (water droplet) spreaders. For a good sheet of ice, Lindgren or others need an hour prior to the start of games.

ments on the weekends. The University of North Dakota is setting up an intramural league and companies can rent out the facility. “My favorite part of volunteering here is to watch the facility and interest in curling grow,” Lindgren says. Since the completion of the new facility, Lindgren has witnessed steady growth. The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world where curling is growing. On the Sunday after the last winter Olympics inished, the ice was full of participants there for an introduction-to-curling session. If Lindgren had his way, the club would host leagues all day, every day, much like they did in his home country of Canada. Because of its professional level playing conditions in combination with its welcoming and relaxing lounge atmosphere, Lindgren believes the two-year-old facility should be considered a mainstay of the city. Curling, he says, is about the competition and the sport, but it’s also about the people and the community on the ice, both of which he adds, are helping the participation levels and membership numbers grow every year. G

HOCKEY ICE VS. CURLING ICE According to Lindgren, curlers would be frustrated with hockey rink ice. Hockey ice is dished inward. Throwing a rock to the far side on a non-curling sheet would require great effort, he says. “The ice is so much better on a curling rink.”



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SHOP & STYLE // Photos by Manstrom Photography



Clothes Rack Of Her

Dreams Brianne Osowski can’t fake her passion for the clothes rack. We asked the former

New York City model to demonstrate the process of her new custom styling service with the help of her clothing store’s head stylist. The goal was to capture the essence of what occurs during her styling sessions, to stage her working with a client in front of the specialized attire Osowski and her team had handpicked from their impressive inventory of items. All we needed her to do was pretend that she was helping a client understand the versatility of a top or the purpose of the waist height on a unique pair of pants. Essentially, she just needed to pose as if she was partaking in the process of her Styled By Curious service. But, Osowski can’t fake her passion for the clothes rack. Standing in front of the customized rack with a client there to partake in our attempt to capture the process, Osowski and Lauren Sandy, the head styl-



'E-commerce paints a picture of who you might be. With our process, we help you ďŹ nd out who you are and what works for you.'

Brianne Osowski


ist, quickly drifted into a real-life styling session. Each spoke to the client about the reasons for their customized choices. They would press the back of their hand against the fabric of a shirt hanging from the rack or they would hold up a jacket against a faded pair of denim pants. They talked to the client about occasions to wear items together and asked what event the client was needing a new out it for most. They acted, and it was clear they werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t acting, as if everything they were doing was all real and the photographers nor I were there for a staged encounter. Had we left, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely they would have




continued for the full session talking style with the makebelieve client. Since meeting her husband and moving back to the region, Osowski has been pursuing her passion for clothes and creating unique shopping experiences. Roughly ive years ago she founded Curious Gift to help clients discover new items unrelated to clothes. Shortly after, she opened a boutique inspired by her experience in the clothing and fashion industry. Recently, she decided to create a customized styling experience to give anyone, of any age, the same treatment celebrities or those that use professional stylists get. “I always want to help people create new experiences,” she says. “Styled by Curious is a new experience for most in the region.” Determined to outdo the allure of the e-commerce shopping experience and to provide her team’s unique styling expertise during a 30- or 60-minute free styling session that includes a customized rack hung with items speci ically for the client, she launched her new service this year. “Ecommerce paints a picture of who you might be. With our process, we help you ind out who you are and what works for you,” she says. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Osowski has never been afraid to venture into the unknown (she loved New York, but she loved her farming husband who couldn’t leave more). “People always joke about me that if I want something I always ind a way,” she says. The creation of the customized style service and clothes rack experience was something she’d always wanted to do. So was opening her own store, then adding a second store, then getting her master’s in business administration and becoming a mother. Now, with more than 100 styled sessions completed and a sessions schedule that is continuously active, she can’t hide a smile when asked about her accomplishments or what’s next. “My grandfather and father [both crop dusters] gave me the ability to know I could create anything I wanted,” she says, “and I want to do more.” Seeing her unable to fake her enthusiasm for helping people shop boldly or gain a better grip of their own style during the staged sessions we arranged, it became more clear every time she left the rack to go ind another item to add to an already robust amount of clothes, that her clothes rack, curiosity and desire to create the next experience for herself or others, is never complete. G


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The Dakota Hunting & Kennel Club is a longrunning, under-the-radar outdoor enthusiastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oasis ten minutes west of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Since the late

60s, when the club irst started, members have been going there to get away. The main club grounds feature a distinct multi-dog kennel, mowed training ield, clay target range and a clubhouse. On most days, a crackling ireplace sends a lazy stream of smoke up and above the clubhouse lounge. A picture window near the ireplace reveals the opportunities that await outside. In front of the kennel, its chain-link kennel runs, and the old brown club sign, is a gravel road and the scenery of ag- ields that could be found anywhere around Grand Forks. Behind the kennel building and the main clubhouse, the view out that picture window is vastly different. There is no mistaking the scene looking west of the clubhouse. From where you stand outside the clubhouse, it is clear the space between you and the horizon is special. Spanning more than 540 acres (not all contiguous), the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scenery features natural tall grass ields, wooded





coulees, deep ponds and marsh habitat perfect for the types looking to escape the sights of the city for the sounds of grass strands swooshing against their pant legs as in-heaven bird dogs bolt through the ield ahead. Mike Elgin bagged his irst rooster pheasant at the club when he was 15. A few years after that in 1984, he started working there. In 2007, he and his wife bought the club from the original owner who started the club as an outdoor-themed retreat for potato executives and other corporate leaders to partake in bird hunting without having to drive four to six hours away. “I’ve worked here my whole life,” Elgin says. “Even now, I don’t know what else I’d do. It is just so amazing out here.” Like most regional gems, much has changed while much has remained the same.

Join The Club Included in the membership fee, participants have access to the dogtraining ields and clubhouse nearly any time they want (Elgin lives on the property and he is always around somewhere). Some members utilize the vast outdoor space to exercise their dogs in any combination of tall grass, mowed ields or in the deep clear pond that, to get to, requires a long walk down a skinny gravel road into the heart of the ields. The walk from the clubhouse to the pond on that gravel path is distinct in all parts of the year. In summer, song birds and far-off honeybee wings are the sounds. In the fall, you hear the northern winds and see everything glowing in a soft golden hue during late afternoon. No matter the season, you know where you are but also where you aren’t. Elgin utilizes every acre of the club to put on pheasant hunts. Members schedule a time when they—and any non-members they invite— want to venture out with shotguns, blaze orange attire and bird dogs. There are wild birds that survive and thrive year after year throughout the club land, and, Elgin also buys additional stock to bolster numbers. Northern plains winters are hard. Elgin caters each hunt to the type of hunter. Sometimes he has big groups with high-end dogs that need a challenge. Other times he has 85-year old hunters. No matter who wants to come out, Elgin will create the near-perfect experience. The land where the majority of the club acres reside is in the middle of an alkaline lat that spans several miles to the south, west and north. Part of the reason the club exists is because the land isn’t the best for farming. Elgin doesn’t care what type of land he has. To him, the setting and his job there were just always meant to be. Over the years, Elgin hasn’t changed 42 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 4 2018

ELGIN’S DOG DIARIES More and more, members come to the club because they have their own hunting dogs. In the early days of the club, only 20 percent of all members had their own dogs. Today, Elgin says nearly 90 percent come with an anxious bird dog. Even he, who has guided more dogs and trained more dogs than most have ever seen, attributes some of his best memories from the club, or in life in general, to experiences with dogs and their impressive retrieves. Through the club, Elgin provides dog training services and guides hunts. He has trained every type of dog. More than 1,000 dogs were started or finished by Elgin on the club grounds. He specializes in pointing dogs, and, he loves his pointing dogs. Although he has owned many dogs from many places (he’s bought dogs direct from Germany before), his favorite group is his current line of liver-colored German shorthairs. Initially, he bought a male and a female to breed, train and sell. That was several years ago, and nearly all of the dogs from that line still live and hunt from his kennel. Elgin doesn’t believe in hardcore dog training or living requirements. His dogs ride in the front seats of trucks, they get loved up and doted on. “Dogs are just amazing. I’ll never get over it,” he says of his current grouping. Nearly every day Elgin takes his shorthairs on an exercise walk or run around the property. When clients request guiding services, his dogs hunt. Tink, the mom of the bunch, is past her prime hunting years but she still wants to go out. “Tink wants to go out so bad but now she just gets lost so I can’t take her on guiding trips,” he says. “I still take her out. We still go. It’s just me and her.”


the natural habitat much either. “You want a hunting experience that is as real as possible,” he says. Although he has planted and groomed different grass types and plant species, he has found that the natural tall grasses hold up best over time. Weather is a major factor in the success of members out on a hunt. The grasses can withstand cold, wind and precipitation. Wet, heavy snow is hard on everything. In addition to bird hunts that can take place from early fall to late April of the following year, members can also partake in sporting clays (a service open to members and the general public). Since he irst started the sporting clay course located a few miles south of the main grounds, it has been a huge success. This year he had more than 35 teams and every year the program grows. The main grounds also provide dog boarding services. Elgin is a taxidermist in addition to his title of do-it-all CEO of the club. During the main hunting season, Elgin is busy hosting large-group hunts throughout the week. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the busiest times of the year with members always looking to create a family memory from the ield. Because the club is where it is, some memorable photos inside the walls of the club’s lounge show hunters with huge smiles lined up by their dogs and their birds on top of a solid white ground. During a typical day at the club, hunters, or participants just there for the outdoor atmosphere, walk through the ields for two to three hours before returning to the clubhouse for a break. Without exception, Elgin will have a fresh, warm ire blazing in the central ireplace. Most members relax in the vintage furniture and play a game of cards, rehydrate with cold beverages of the adult or non-adult kind, nibble on some pre-prepared snacks, stare at the embers in the ireplace, talk about the details of the previous hunt, stare again at the ire and then repeat until it is time to head back out. When the day’s hunt and excursion is over, participants bring their game to Elgin to take care of for transport and future use. Although the ire is always going, and the furniture is always comfortable and appealing, Elgin says most hunts end with everyone standing in the game cleaning room downing a beverage while everyone heckles everyone and laughs and tells Elgin about the same unforgettable (to them) moments that he has heard a million times. “The thing I like most about the job is making people happy,” Elgin says. Despite his reluctance to create a website or even a Facebook page, membership at the club is growing. In the past ive years, there has been an in lux of younger members. For the irst time in a long time, there is actually a waiting list to become a member of the Dakota Hunting & Kennel Club, although Elgin is the type that seems hard-pressed to give a solid no. Fees are in the hundreds, not thousands, but what you get in return is something you know you won’t be able to get anywhere else but on that 540-plus acres west of town where that lazy smoke trail is always rising from the clubhouse, the tall grass is always swaying in the wind and Elgin is waiting inside to talk about your day, your dogs and the memories that come free with membership. G





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I NSP IR AT IO N Minnesota Rustâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s small town store front has become a must-visit for style seekers and design enthusiasts




Walking through Andrea Stordahl’s store without touching the merchandise would be nearly impossible. The way she arranges her an-

tique, vintage and found décor somehow captures your eyes—and the control of your ingertips—making you instinctively reach to feel the rough grain of a 70-year old workbench, the loose strands of a forgotten fabric or the faded green patina speckled over a brass serving dish. She wants it that way. When she started Minnesota Rust, an antique, vintage and décor brand built from her passion and expertise in vintage styling and product inding, her goal was to inspire. “The underlying theme with many of my pieces is about triggering feelings of other times and rekindling positive memories made in your previous spaces,” she says. “I love it when people walk in here and say to me that they’ve found something they’ve been looking for, even if the thing they found was something they didn’t even know they wanted.” Earlier this year Stordahl held a grand opening for her storefront. After weeks of hardcore renovations (with the help of several others), she was proud to bring her vision for vintage style possibilities to the world. The store might feature Swedish styled chairs, butcher blocks, vintage furniture and décor or even a stairway to nowhere. The studio, as she calls it, feels like something from a magazine. At any given time while you are there, there is a sense that an HGTV ilm crew could show up to ilm a new style segment or even whisk Stordahl away to shoot a new series. Her storefront is not hard to ind, but it isn’t where you’d expect it to be. Locat48 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 4 2018

THE PIECE THAT GOT AWAY: “I regret not buying an old Studebaker truck. It had rounded edges and would have looked amazing at the store.”


FAVORITE PIECE: Stordahl’s all-time favorite piece was a ship mast in the shape of a Mermaid. The color and shape of it were perfect, she says. “I bought it after a long time of wanting it and then as soon as I got it, I sold it.”

ed in a former bakery and donut shop, Stordahl and her husband bought, gutted and renovated the space in McIntosh, Minnesota, a rural community with a population of roughly 700 in Polk County. After two years owning a storage space in McIntosh and traveling to antique and vintage markets in lakes country or Fargo to sell or buy, she decided it was time to take her passion to another level. She wanted her own store and her own brand. In ive weeks, the former bakery was renovated and 50 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 4 2018

made into a studio. “It was hard for the town. It was hard on all of us because there were so many emotions attached to the previous store,” she says. Throughout the renovation process, Stordahl tried to salvage and maintain as much of the unique character the previous store had come with. Despite the dificulty of seeing a small town institution transitioning into something new, the studio was built in less than two months because of help from the community. “People


THE STYLE OF MINNESOTA RUST: The old workbenches are so Minnesota Rust. They are raw, functional and tough. They are classic and complement anything around them.

came from everywhere. They made sure we had water and food and tools during our reno days,” she says. Now, Stordahl has employees and opens for multiple days in the week. On the days she’s not open, she’s traveling (to Texas, Wisconsin or maybe even Europe) to ind new pieces, talking on the phone with her impressive network of décor buyers and helpers, or, rearranging the store loor to showcase new items. “I can show people how they can use things they’ve always loved but never knew how to use,” she says. “I want people to feel like this is a place to get inspired and where they can ind their own creativity.” Ask her where she inds her unique items and she’ll have a different story for near-

ly every piece. She is used to taking calls from friends about new pieces or unique inds. “People want to help make this Minnesota Rust story successful,” she says. What was once a passion and fun is now a career, she says. Most days start at the store or end at the store for Stordahl. While she works to build up the brand and help inspire people to understand the power and pleasantries of vintage, she is also busy with new plans for expansion in McIntosh and maybe other places, a desire that she says is only feasible because of her husband Bryce. “I say new things will be done in the next year,” she says. “My husband says no but he says it with a smile. So, it will be done.” G


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A CUT ABOVE A Grand Forks institution

nears its 60th anniversary

Walking into L&M Meats is like entering a meat-lovers paradise.

Seeing the fresh cuts of beef, pork and poultry displayed in glass cases and the neatly organized bins illed with all manner of seafood, sausages and prepared meats probably makes it dif icult for customers to remain focused on what they originally intended to purchase. With a clean, friendly and inviting atmosphere, it doesn’t take long for newcomers to the community to realize that L&M Meats is what every butcher shop should be—a store that provides quality products at reasonable prices with a friendly, knowledgeable staff. “We specialize in meat, and we feel like we do a better job,” says Vera Novak, who’s in charge of administration and human resources. “You get a better, more customized product for your money here. You can walk in and ask for a pound of bacon sliced to a certain thickness. If you don’t want one of the steaks in the counter, the butcher will cut you a different one.” It’s part of the reason why the business became an institution and has remained a prized asset of the greater Grand Forks area. L&M Meats is a testament to the foresight of its immigrant founders, the late Lad-


die and Marie Novak. Four of their children—Vera, Jeff, Laddie Jr. and Gary—continue to operate the store, following the standards and guiding principles set by their parents who immigrated from Czechoslovakia. “Having that Eastern European work ethic meant they never spent more than what they had,” Vera says of her parents. “They worked hard, they saved and each time they were able to make a step forward, they did.” There’s an old proverb which holds that you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. As L&M Meats next year reaches its 60th anniversary in Grand Forks, the history of where one of the city’s best-known businesses began remains an important part of L&M’s culture, the quality of its products and its continued success. Seventy years ago, a young newly-married couple led from Prague, Czechoslovakia, as the Iron Curtain fell on Eastern Europe. Ladislav Novak—a 23-year-old butcher and sausage maker—and his 19-year-old bride Marie escaped from the city under cover of darkness, leeing to a refugee camp in West Germany. After six months, they were moved to another refugee camp in Naples, Italy, where Ilona, their irst child, was born.


After a year and a half in Naples, Tony Stang, a butcher in Mayville, North Dakota, provided an opportunity for the Novaks to come to America. Ladislav, who later legally changed his name to Laddie, had begun training for his trade near the start of World War II. When the family arrived at Ellis Island in New York, Marie weighed a little over 80 pounds, and the couple worried that she might be too weak and sickly to remain in the U.S. But they were allowed to stay and rode a train west to North Dakota. The couple lived in Mayville for two years until Stang died unexpectedly. Laddie then went to work for another meat market in Devils Lake where his cattle-buying skills were highly prized. In 1958, Laddie, Marie and Ilona became naturalized U.S. citizens. But what Laddie really wanted was to make sausage. He got the chance when the Novaks and their growing family moved to Grand Forks in 1959, which the Novaks now consider the of icial beginning of L&M Meats. Laddie’s irst shop was in a beer distributorship in downtown Grand Forks. The basement housed a smoker where he could at last make sausages the way he’d learned to in Czechoslovakia. Before long, he and his sons were delivering his products to a burgeoning market. “My dad would make sausage and then they would take it out on what he called ‘the route,’” says Jeff, who today serves


as L&M Meats’ general manager. “It was the Czech communities at Grafton, Minto, Langdon, Pisek and Warsaw. The little grocery stores would sell the Bohemian shorts, ring baloney and Polish sausage.” Laddie moved the store to other locations in town he shared with different grocery businesses, but Vera says he yearned for the independence to specialize in meats and sausages. L&M Meats eventually shared a location just north of Gateway Drive between Old Mill Road and Washington Street. In the 60s, a nearby gas station was transformed into the business’s new home. “When you went in there, there was a Laddie’s sausage sign,” Vera says. “We still have that sign up front in this store. It was just my mom and dad, and it was the irst time that they independently had their own retail store.” The business now employs between 30 and 35 people, depending on the season. As Jeff remembers, “When we irst got into the store on Old Mill Road, we were there for about year or so when dad started selling fresh meat. We put a tray of hamburger in the case and maybe some pork chops and a few roasts. Then we got into steaks. Every time my dad would put some steaks out, my mom would worry about selling them. It got to be that our store was

known for good cuts of steak and roasts. It got bigger and bigger.” Later, Laddie would worry when Jeff decided that premium, Grade A seafood should be part of L&M Meats’ offerings. “Jeez, I thought the world was going to come to an end the irst time we got the bill,” he chuckles. “Dad said we would never sell it, but the sales got to be pretty good.” In 1988, Laddie bought land for another retail store on south Washington when it became apparent that Grand Forks was growing in that direction. The Old Mill Road location was closed in 2002 and new production and packaging facilities, as well as a smokehouse, were added to the store at 2801 S. Washington. With Christmas time being the busiest time of year for L&M Meats, the Novaks continue to ind new ways to serve their customers. “Many of our customers come in and tell us this is their one-stop shop,” Vera says. “They tell us that they’re buying all their Christmas gifts here.” Although meat and cheese trays remain a popular staple of the holiday season, the store also provides gift cards and gift baskets full of tasty meat treats for shipment nearly anywhere in the U.S. For holiday dinners, prime rib, hams and even luteisk are available. The L&M Meats' staff is also trained to advise customers on how to prepare their purchases. Jeff says that L&M Meats continues to take great pride in its customer service and its products, just as his father and mother did. There’s no sign the tradition will end any time soon. G



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Three years after reopening, The Olive Barrel is hitting its culinary stride

'We’ve got the best of all worlds here. You can have good food and still be good to yourself. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor or calories. You don’t have to add sugar. It’s all natural.' Jackie Nelson


d The Olive Barrel store in Grand Forks—which features around 70 different varieties of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world—proves two basic truths. The irst is that it’s hard to keep a good idea down. The second is that it’s not necessary to sacri ice lavor to eat healthy. The original Olive Barrel opened in Columbia Mall in June 2014 and closed in October 2015. But Jackie Nelson, an employee at the University of North Dakota, was one of those customers who loved the store so much she didn’t want to see it go. Instead, she bought it and reopened it six weeks later in the Columbia Center strip mall at 2100 S. Columbia Road.

“When we opened, we had just a few olive oils and balsamic vinegars because it was at Christmas time and you couldn’t get a lot shipped in,” Nelson recalls. “We kind of went by the seat of our pants that Christmas.” The store began with Nelson, her sister Deb Johnson and her mother Dottie as employees, but has since added four more people. And although the olive oil and balsamics from California-based Veronica Foods Co. remain The Olive Barrel’s signature products, the store’s fare has expanded to include pasta, bread, Spanish olives, popping corn, seasonings, dishes and decorative items, among others.

The store’s motto is “Come taste the world” because the products from Veronica Foods represent some of the highest quality and healthiest olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the globe—produced by farmers who must meet the company’s exacting standards. In fact, Nelson and her sister found out that if they wanted to sell the Veronica Foods, products, they had to attend a school in Oakland, California, to learn all about them.



“It was a full two days and we learned so much—much more than we thought we’d learn about what makes a good product and why it’s different from what you get in the grocery store,” Nelson said. “We spent half a day in her store learning to taste olive oil correctly.” According to Nelson, what makes olive oil healthy are the levels of polyphenols and oleic acid it contains. Olives picked for Veronica Foods are pressed within six hours after being harvested, another key factor increasing their health bene its. “With these products, there’s no reason why you can’t be a foodie and be healthy,” Nelson explains. “We’ve got the best of all worlds here. You can have good food and still be good to yourself. You don’t have to sacri ice lavor or cal-

ories. You don’t have to add sugar. It’s all natural.” The Olive Barrel has had customers come in whose doctors have told them to include heart healthy olive oil and balsamics in their diets. Johnson remembers a man who said he was there because he had a prescription from his doctor. When she gave him a puzzled look, he opened his shirt to reveal a scar from open-heart surgery. Even those who don’t necessarily need the health bene its ind that combining the various lavors of oils and balsamics can add new depth of lavors to their meals. Nelson provides the best recipes she and her employees ind to the store’s customers, which include blackberry-ginger balsamic glazed wings, peach Caprese salad and creamy dill penne alfredo.


The most common use of the oils and vinegars is for salad dressing and marinades, Nelson says. Many use the olive oil for frying and the balsamics as baking extracts. One of the most unusual recipes came from a customer who coated grapes with a combination of balsamic vinegars, roasted them in the oven until they were ready to burst and then froze them. “She told me she could hardly stay out of the jar and her kids eat them like candy,” Nelson relates. The same recipe can be a Christmas treat using cranberries and cranberry-pear balsamic vinegar, she adds. The Olive Barrel prides itself on customer service, which is why the staff never stops coming up with ways to keep the store’s patrons satis ied. One idea for Christmas this year stemmed from what can be the overwhelming selection of oils and balsamics. Now customers can buy an empty gift-wrapped bottle that serves as a gift certi icate. Recipients can come to the store, taste and then pick out the lavors they like. “It’s a fun place to work,” Nelson says. “I look forward to coming in and seeing what’s new, especially during the holidays. It seems like every time I walk in the store, there’s a new display up. It’s exciting to see what we’re getting ready for the holiday season.” G


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Half Brothers Brewery

At Budget Blinds, our goal is to provide you with the best products and services in order to enrich your home environment. We offer FREE In-Home Consultations, Professional Measure and Installation, and the Best Warranty in the Industry. Call us today to schedule your Free In-Home Consultation. Style and Service for Every Budget.

Half Brothers Brewery wants to invite you and your family to join us. Whether you are looking for the ďŹ nest craft beer, delicious lunch and dinner options, or just want to relax and listen to live music that occurs every night. Come on in, sit on down, and Welcome To The Family. 701-213-0254

17 N 3rd St Grand Forks, ND 58203 701-757-0805


coming soon


Curious Clothing

Ann Love

Sadie's Events Bllac B lac ac ck kp k po oiin ntt

Premier Aesthetics

CURIOUS Boutiques CURIOUS Clothing is excited to join CURIOUS Gift on 32nd Avenue! Are you CURIOUS? Keep an eye on our social media pages for all the details on our new expansion!

3750 32nd Avenue South Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-772-3726

Sadie's Couture Floral & Event Styling From weddings to corporate events, Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling brings your ideas to life with a personalized touch. However simple or elaborate, we are here to make your event memorable. We are passionate about our work and strive to create beauty in every event we touch.

899 2nd Ave N Suite 1 Grand Forks, ND 58203 701-317-3255

Ann Love

Premier Aesthetics

“In the heart of downtown lives Ann Love. The simplistic charm will draw you in instantly, the coffee and classic styles are the cherry on top.” - 701LifeStyle; Blogger.

Radiate Beauty from the Inside Out We offer a wide variety of medical spa services to help you feel like your best self. Services include: Botox/Dysport, Sculptra, PDO Threads, Dermal Fillers, ZO Skin Health, Lash Extensions, HydroPlus Facials, Vitamin B12 Shots, PRP, Micro-Needling, Lash Lift, Body Wraps, Spray Tans, Body Waxing. Contact us today to find out more information!

402 Demers Ave. Suite 120 Front Door off 4th Street. @annloveboutique PC | PJ Cole Photography

1725 32nd Ave. S., Suite D Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-757-2111



First International Bank & Trust Mortgage

Altru Family YMCA

Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture

Smiling Moose

First International Bank & Trust Mortgage

Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture

We listen to your needs and will recommend the best mortgage options for you and your situation. With her experience, Sonja can make the process of purchasing, refinancing or building a home an easy and enjoyable process. She is dedicated to serving her customers with quality customer service and professionalism.

At Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture we see you as an individual with a unique set of needs, and we view chiropractic care as a system of health care that can help you reach improved levels of wellbeing. Allow our combination of experience, evidence-based care, and collaborative mindset help you reach your health goals.

Sonja Murray Mortgage Loan Officer (701) 757-6560 NMLS #1079613

3750 32nd Ave. South Suite #103 Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-775-1034


Altru Family YMCA At the Y, we are dedicated to ensuring our facilities, programs and services are open and welcoming to all. We are proud to offer our members access to over 2,500 U.S. YMCA facilities that participate in Nationwide Membership. This way our members can use the Y as often as they like – making achieving their health and wellness goals, easier. 215 North 7th St. Grand Forks, ND 58203 701 775-2586

Smiling Moose Mo! sandwiches, you can't get anywhere else – ½ lb of beef grilled to order, 12 inch baguette! Other sandwiches/wraps are built using fresh sliced deli meats, hand cut vegetables & sauces made in house. Breakfast all day. Incredible tossed salads with kale, arugula & other premium toppings. Gluten free & vegetarian options. We’d love to cater your next meeting.

623 S. Washington St., Grand Forks, ND 58201 Catering: 877-669-6168 Deli: 701-757-3354


GERRELLS HOCKEY GS SPORTS WORLD Gerrells Sports Center 1004 S Washington St, Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-775-0553






701.746.2790 |

Profile for BBI International

Issue 04:18 - GRAND Lifestyle magazine  

Best of the Grand Cities magazine

Issue 04:18 - GRAND Lifestyle magazine  

Best of the Grand Cities magazine

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