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A supplement to the March 10, 2010 Detroit Lakes Tribune.

Business Profile Ad. full page 2010.qxp


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Business Profile 2010

Business Profile 2010


Tough times for business, but economy is looking better The “great recession” may have put Minnesota into a long, dark tunnel, but we’re beginning to see a glimmer of light at the end of it. Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce President Kris Tovson said some businesses are doing OK and are holding their own, while others are struggling a bit. “It varies, depending on the business,” she said. Revenue was down about 3 percent at the end of 2009 for motels and other in-town facilities that collect lodging tax. That’s not exactly good news, but “it’s better than a lot of other places,” that have seen lodging revenue decreases of 15-20 percent, Tovson said. Manufacturing companies in the area expect to do better this year than last year, and while most of those who were laid off have not yet been hired back, manufacturers are “hopeful that things are on the way up,” Tovson said. Resorts are reporting solid bookings for the upcoming summer months, which is a positive sign, but downtown retailers in general have been seeing some tough winter sledding, she said. “It’s been a difficult time for downtown retailers,” she said. Hockey tournaments and other sporting events have brought people in on weekends, but “other than that there haven’t been the people around,” she said. Retailers are looking forward to the arrival of the summer tourism season. Minnesota employers added 15,600 jobs in January, the largest one-month gain in state employment since April 2005, according to figures just released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Minnesota fell to 7.3 percent in January, compared with 7.4 percent a month earlier. The U.S. unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in January. Becker County’s unemployment rate in December stood at 8.4 percent. January figures for the county have not yet been released. “We’re encouraged by the improvement in the labor market,” said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. “The unemployment rate has been trending downward in recent months, but it’s still too early to say whether the state economy has reached a turning point.” Eight of the state’s 11 industrial sectors added jobs in January, led by trade, transportation and utilities and by professional and business services, which each added 4,000 jobs. Other gains occurred in manufacturing (up 3,000), construction (up 2,100), leisure and hospitality (up 1,500), other services (up 900), government (up 800) and information (up 500). Logging and mining held steady. In January education and health services lost 700 jobs and financial activities lost 500 jobs. Year-over-year job gains occurred in education and health services (up 2,700) and government (up 300). Another early indicator of an improving economy is hiring at temp agencies, which is up 5.1 percent from a year ago, McElroy said. Job losses have occurred in the past year in manufacturing (down 31,200), trade, transportation and utilities (down 14,300), professional and business services (down 6,800), construction (down 8,200), leisure and hospitality (down 6,000), financial activities (down 4,600), other services (down 3,400), information (down 1,900), and logging and mining (down 1,600). DEED also announced new employment estimates from the past two years based on annual benchmark revisions by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The revisions show that the state lost 45,000 jobs in the first full year of the recession from December 2007 to December 2008, instead of the original estimate of 63,000 jobs lost. In the second year, from December 2008 to December 2009, the state lost more than 117,000 jobs, instead of the nearly 81,000 jobs that were originally estimated to be lost. For additional information regarding the benchmark adjustment procedures, visit So the recession hit Minnesota harder and deeper last year than had been thought, but we’re confident that the economic foundations of this area are strong and that things are beginning to move in the right direction. Here’s to a better year for business! — Editor Nathan Bowe

Rod Einerson President

Debbie Haugen

Vice President Real Estate

Where you bank DOES make a difference! ❖ Commercial ❖ New Construction

Cara Frank

Vice President Consumer/Comercial

❖ Mortgages ❖ Personal and Recreational Loans

Jodi Zeller

Real Estate Loan Officer

First Security Bank 611 Summit Avenue Detroit Lakes, MN 56501


Business Profile 2010


Advertiser Index

Dennis Winskowski publisher

Nathan Bowe editor

Mary Brenk

advertising manager

Viola Anderson circulation manager


511 Washington Avenue Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 218.847.3151

Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning ���������������������������21 Ameriprise Financial�����������������������������������������������������5 Andy Francis Landscaping & Construction �������������������24 Apex Electric�������������������������������������������������������������17 Bremer Bank�������������������������������������������������������������11 Bristlin Construction�����������������������������������������������������9 Cenex Community Co-ops�������������������������������������������19 Cabinetry & Design by JCS�����������������������������������������21 Central Floral���������������������������������������������������������������5 Community Development Insurance Services, LLC�������20 Counselor Realty���������������������������������������������������������9 Country Wood Products �����������������������������������������������8 Creamy Creations�������������������������������������������������������16 D&D Appliance & Repair�����������������������������������������������3 Detroit Lakes Community Development�����������������������13 Detroit Lakes Ford-Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep�������������������������4 Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce�������������13 Don Teitz Construction���������������������������������� Back Cover Emmanuel Community�������������������������������������������������5 Family Resource���������������������������������������������������������21 First Security Bank�������������������������������������������������������1 Foltz Buildings�����������������������������������������������������������23 Francis Construction�����������������������������������������������������3 Frazee Event Center/Frazee Liquor Store�����������������������9 Green’s Plumbing & Heating�����������������������������������������2


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GR Hill Construction Inc.���������������������������������������������16 Here’s my Card ���������������������������������������������������������15 Hoffman’s Town & Country Market �����������������������������11 Hospice���������������������������������������������������������������������19 J&K Marine���������������������������������������������������������������23 Janke’s Sew & Vac�����������������������������������������������������22 Jerry’s Optical �����������������������������������������������������������24 Lake Region Builders Association���������������������������������7 Lakes Shoe Repair�������������������������������������������������������7 Laney’s���������������������������������������������������������������������13 Maloney’s Plumbing���������������������������������������������������17 Marco������������������������������������������������ Inside Back Cover Minnesota Energy �������������������������������������������������������4 Morrison Eye Care�������������������������������������������������������3 Okeson Offtrail Sales�������������������������������������������������19 Olaf Anderson �������������������������������������������������������������7 Precision Printing���������������������������������������������������������2 Price’s Jewelry�����������������������������������������������������������23 RDO Equipment Co.���������������������������������������������������11 SJE Rhombus������������������������������������������������������������22 St. Mary’s Innovis Health�������������������� Inside Front Cover Stelter’s Inc.�������������������������������������������������������������20 Ulteig �����������������������������������������������������������������������17 Zayic Concrete, Inc. ���������������������������������������������������22

Green’s Plumbing & Heating, Inc. Offering...Full Service Plumbing & Heating, cottage hookup and draining, sewer cleaning & repair, water heaters, air conditioners, city water & sewer hook ups and self storage units Prompt professional service for all your plumbing needs. One mile N. on Hwy. 59, Detroit Lakes, MN • 847-7542 Locally Owned & Operated

Business Profile 2010

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Business Profile 2010


Central Floral manager Jeannie Ronning likes the expanded space that her department got when it relocated to the old video section of Central Market.

Published September 27, 2009

Central Floral’s new digs STORY by jason Adkins photos by taylor blank

Central Floral has some new digs and it’s quite an improvement over the old space. The full-service floral shop inside Central Market moved to the old video store portion of the building a month ago. “It was just time for an expansion,” said Central Floral Manager Jeannie Ronning. “We decided this would make a very good spot because of the separate entrance.” Marketing Central Floral’s products played a role in moving into the video store space. Ronning said that the added room gives the floral store the ability to display more products. She said that it allows for permanent displays for weddings and newborns. “It lets people know we have giftware for every occasion,” Ronning

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said. There is also an area where customers can talk with floral representatives, or with the deli and bakery departments of Central Market to coordinate food and floral plans. “We wanted that for quite a while,” Ronning said. The expanded space also lets her designers work near the retail area. “Now we have this great, big workroom where the product we have available is at our fingertips rather than running back to the back room,” Ronning said. The old floral space still is used for ready-to-go flowers and bouquets. The new space needed new workers, and Ronning said she hired five employees to help. Two of those came from the nowclosed Floral Impressions, one a de-

signer and one a delivery driver. One of the new employees also focuses on gourmet baskets. Customers are still getting used to the change, Ronning said, with some not knowing that Central Floral was a full-service floral shop. The response has been positive thus far. Future likely additions include installing a flower cooler on the side of the building near Central Floral. Ronning said that could happen before the holidays. The entire Central Floral team had input on what the new floral area needed. That feedback helps make employees feel valued, Ronning said. Central Floral is located on the north side of Central Market in Detroit Lakes. It can be reached at 844-3664.

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Business Profile 2010

Emmanuel Community’s Short Stay Rehabilitation Center

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Business Profile 2010


Dale Wilde (back, third from right) bought Consolidated Abstract in 1985, and started Becker County Title Services and Title Services of Perham later on. The company will be celebrated its 57th anniversary in September.

Published August 23, 2009

Successful 57 years Employees key to title company’s success

STORY and photo by jason Adkins

Having three different companies operate successfully can be a challenge, but there is one part of doing business that Dale Wilde hasn’t struggled with — keeping employees happy. Wilde has owned Consolidated Abstract Co. since 1985, and launched two real estate closing offices later on. Becker County Title Services was started in 1987 and Title Services of Perham started in 2000. It shows in the tenures of various employees, a feat that Wilde said is unusual in the industry. Besides Wilde, six others have been with the firm for at least 10 years. He said he didn’t want to give the reasons why his employees stay; they could tell their individual stories. Mary Jo Zweerink, Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Consolidated Abstract said one of the reasons she’s worked for the company for the past 23 years is that she enjoys the work. “I have a great support staff here and they enjoy what they do,” Zweerink said. She said Wilde has been a great mentor. “He’s a great teacher,” Zweerink said. “He let us make our mistakes and doesn’t blame us for anything.” Zweerink was named CEO in 2002 as Wilde was scaling back his schedule. He said it’s tough since his life has

been devoted to the financial and real estate industry for the past 45 years. “You just learn to live and breathe it,” Wilde said. “And you make a lot of good friends.” “I find that if I’m not here, I miss my friends,” he said. Debbie Torgerson has been with the company for 18 years. She said she likes keeping on her toes with the changes in the industry. “It never gets old,” Torgerson said. Torgerson worked at a bank before coming to Consolidated Abstract and she said the assumption would be that there isn’t anything left to learn about real estate. “You would think that I would have seen it all and known it all,” Torgerson said. “I don’t. It just keeps changing.” The title industry has changed significantly from when Consolidated Abstract was first started in 1952. Wilde said the primary business back then was creating abstract, which lists the history of a particular piece of land. “We keep track of the owner’s names, the mortgages and the legal descriptions,” Wilde said. That process is critical to real estate transactions because a buyer of land wants to ensure that there aren’t any unforeseen problems with the purchase. The business changed in scope

when Wilde bought the company. He said that‘s when financial institutions started to sell off the mortgages they make to other companies on a grander scale. He hearkened back the time when he worked for a savings and loan in Detroit Lakes and real estate deals were closed in-house. Wilde saw a need, since closing takes time and resources away from a financial institution’s core business. “I thought, gee, as a banker that’s just more time I’m spending on a project and I’m not making any money,” Wilde said. “Maybe someone else should close these transactions and take the responsibility to see that the title is good.” That thought led to the creation of Becker County Title Services. That’s the core part of Consolidated Abstract now, especially with the real estate boom before the market declined. In addition to closing, it writes title insurance policies, conducts property inspections and provides escrow services. As part of Consolidated Abstract’s 57th anniversary, the company is holding a Customer Appreciation Picnic on Tuesday, Sept. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its office at 828 Minnesota Ave. in Detroit Lakes. They can be reached at 847-2144 or on the Web at

Business Profile 2010


Lakes shoe RepaiR Where You Can Expect Quality, Honest & Friendly Service

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Red Wing Shoe Dealer & Shoe Repair Service! Serving the Lakes Area for over 26 Years!

922 Washington Ave. • Detroit Lakes • 218-847-3303

Business Profile 2010


Pictured left to right Chris Gravdahl, Wanda Bentler, Dave Bentler, Jeff Klobucher and Kevin Orner

Published June 14, 2009

Room to grow in DL D&D Repair and Appliance moves to new location STORY by jason Adkins submitted photo

Customers at D&D Repair and Appliance have more room to breathe as the store relocated from North Washington Avenue to Highway 59 South, next to L&M Fleet Supply in the old Amish Furniture store, on June 1. After 15 years in its old location, owners Dave and Wanda Bentler decided they needed a bigger space. Logistically, the move made sense as the store combined its warehouse and showroom under one roof. Before that, D&D Repair and Appliance utilized a separate warehouse in the industrial park in Detroit Lakes. “We had outgrown this space,” said Chris Gravdahl, the Bentlers’ daughter who also works at the store. With two locations, Gravdahl said that a lot of time was spent shuttling back and forth between the warehouse and the retail end. And customers couldn’t get their new appliance right away if they wanted to take it home themselves. “It was a little bit scary, but it was the right move and the right time,” Gravdahl said. The new space holds all of their product line. Plus D&D Repair and Appliance can have one of every model on display. “We needed a place that we could get everything under one roof,” Gravdahl said. “And yet have a good retail location where people could find us, have good parking and space so we’re not bumping into each other going down the aisles.” She said that in the old store on Washington Avenue, it could get cramped when showing off an appliance. If a door to one appliance was open, for instance, the door on another appliance facing it

couldn’t be opened. Gravdahl said it took some juggling to show product to customers. While the standalone appliance store is disappearing from cities across the county, Gravdahl said that a combination of good customer service and loyal customers helps the store thrive. “We do hear from a lot of customers that have shopped at the big box store and come back,” Grovdahl said. “They say the service can’t be beat at a hometown store. They say ‘I’ve had enough and we want to go back to being treated like when we’re at home.’” Gravdahl said that D&D Repair and Appliance has an advantage with service, since it can repair appliances in-house or sell parts to do-it-yourself types. “We have all retail, the service and the parts,” she said. Service can be in the form of a repairman going out to a customer or a customer can drop off their appliance.

D&D Repair and Appliance is also a Minn Kota Motors authorized service center. “This time of year, we hear from a lot of fisherman,” Gravdahl said. The move itself came about quickly, Wanda Bentler said. It was less than a month from closing on the new location to moving shop. Gravdahl said that she was on vacation in Alaska when closing happened and when she came back, the whole staff put in time at night to make the move happen. Jeff Klobuchar and Kevin Orner are the non-family members working at the store. “We never closed down during the process,” Gravdahl said. “Thankfully, our customers were very understanding.” D&D Repair and Appliance is located at 1050 Highway 59 South in Detroit Lakes. The store can be reached at 8479775.

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Business Profile 2010

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MIKE RING DAVE SCHILLER ERIC LUNDMARK LISA PICHE DAVE NELSON BROKER/OWNER Broker/Owner Owner/ABR Owner/GRI Broker/Owner cell: 218.849.5478 ABR, CRS, GRI Notary Public cell: 218.849.0383 841-3355 cell: 218.234.9734 cell: 218.841.9242

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Business Profile 2010


Josh Hochgraber and Amy Jacobson, left, are the co-founders of the DL Young Professionals. The DL Young Professionals group, below, held an “ugly sweater” gathering at Zorbaz last Thursday.

Published January 28, 2009

DL Young Professionals group looks to expand its membership and focus STORY BY PIPPI MAYFIELD PHOTOs BY BRIAN BASHAM

Q: What do ugly sweaters, nursing homes, Internet advertising and the Chamber of Commerce have in common? A: The DL Young Professionals, of course. “There are lots of places to socialize and see some people,” co-organizer Josh Hochgraber said. “I wanted an avenue to meet people in a different setting.” When then-Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce president Dave Hochhalter sent out a notice that there was interest in starting a Young Professionals club in Detroit Lakes, Amy Jacobson and Hochgraber answered the call. They got together and brainstormed about how to start the club. Hochgraber said their talents complimented each other, as Jacobson knows how to organize an event, with her profession being just that at The ClubHouse Hotel. Hochgraber works for Marco, and Jacobson said he knows how to do the promotional aspect of the socialization. “It started with a list of friends and who might be interested, not knowing what to expect,” Jacobson said. In December of 2007, they held their first gathering, with about 35 people in attendance. “In the beginning, it was just socializing and networking,” Jacobson said. Then they tried to find a niche and determine who the club would attract. “Are we trying to be like the Jaycees? No, we’re more focusing on the younger groups,” she said. Although there is no set age for who can or can’t attend, the group is targeting the 25-35 age group, or anyone considered “young at heart.” “But we’d never turn anyone away,”

she stressed, adding that they want everyone to feel welcome. With the group finding its base, the desire now is to expand both in numbers and what the group does. They have talked about giving a scholarship in the DL Young Professionals’ name for the new Business and Entrepreneurial Services program at Minnesota State Community & Technical College as one of those future things. Jacobson said everyone in the group comes from different businesses and everyone comes with different educational backgrounds, as well. She said the point was to open up social and professional networks for those involved. Being from the Detroit Lakes area originally, Jacobson said, sometimes you see people in a restaurant or something and don’t know them other than just seeing them out. Some people may just stick to the people they know, the ones they grew up with. “You get in a rut, which is great because they’re your friends for a reason, but it’s nice to meet people in a professional (circle) too,” she continued. “We want to attract and retain young professionals to the Detroit Lakes area,” Hochgraber said. The DL Young Professionals meet once a month, usually the third Thursday of each month from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at various locations throughout Detroit Lakes. This month, they met at Zorbaz for an ugly sweater contest. Next month, they will meet Feb. 10 for an open house at the Chamber of Commerce. There will be a membership drive and a chance for the Chamber to showcase what it has to offer. The DL Young Professionals is a committee under the

Chamber’s umbrella. There will be time for speed networking, where people will have a minute to network one-on-one about their business and careers before moving on to the next person. Although there is always a social aspect to the gathering, they “pretty much always have an educational aspect” as well,” Hochgraber said. He said with the local resources available, the group is here to show people they “don’t have to go to a bigger city to get everything.” With the educational aspect, they have toured the St. Mary’s Innovis Health nursing home, Oak Crossing, for one. Jacobson said it was interesting because it’s likely none of them would have toured the new facility on their own time. And while they may not be needing nursing home services any time soon, they may have loved ones who do or will in the near future. They’ve also gotten presentations on drawing up wills, Internet advertising and other topics club members might not normally have, she added. Hochgraber said the goal is to have those involved with the club have more ownership and involvement with the planning of the club. There are about 2530 members, although the distribution list, sent out by the Chamber, numbers 100 people. “We’re very fortunate to have this in a community where businesses show their support,” Hochgraber said of the young professionals organization. For more information about the group, contact Becky at the Chamber of Commerce at 847-9202, Josh Hochgraber at 847-1395 or Amy Jacobson at 847-2121.

Business Profile 2010


Our actions make a difference, right here, every day


It’s a pleasure to work with someone who enjoys what they do. That’s why it’s a pleasure to work–and bank–at Bremer. We know that everyone who comes through our doors comes in for a different reason. And we’re determined to help everyone in the best possible way. By taking action and making a difference.

Hoffman’s 847-7207 Corner of Hwy. 34 & North Washington Ave. Detroit Lakes, MN

115 Homles Street East Detroit Lakes • 847-9292 24-hour banking: 1-800-908-BANK Member FDIC %XVLQHVV3URILOH'/LQGG


Town and Country Market


Business Profile 2010


Longtime Hoffman’s Meat Market owner Henry Hoffman, left, recently turned over ownership of the business to one of his former empoloyees, Randy Gravelle. Hoffman owned and operated the business with his wife Bonnie for nearly 35 years.

Published December 9, 2009

After 35 years, Hoffman’s Meat Market is under new ownership STORY and photo by vicki gerdes

For the first time in almost 35 years, you won’t find either Henry or Bonnie Hoffman behind the counter at Hoffman’s Meat Market in Detroit Lakes. Randy Gravelle, a part-time employee at Hoffman’s since 1996, took over the reins of the business last month. Gravelle is a Detroit Lakes native whose parents, Ann and Earl Gravelle, owned and operated Lakes Processing in Detroit Lakes for more than 25 years. “I grew up in the business,” he said. “I’ve been cutting meat since I was five years old.” Though his nine siblings all live in the lakes area at present, “I’m the only one who didn’t drift,” said Gravelle, referring to the fact that unlike his brothers and sisters, he has never really lived anywhere else. Though he has taken over ownership of the business from the Hoffmans, Gravelle said he doesn’t plan to make many changes. “I’m going to continue what Henry and Bonnie have built here,” he said. Henry Hoffman purchased Larson’s Town & Country Meat Market from Duane and LaMae Larson, and reopened it as Hoffman’s Meat Market on Sept. 15, 1975. But he was a part of the business even before that. “I started working for Duane (Larson) when he opened the meat market,” Henry said. “Then I purchased it from him — and now we want to pass it on.” Like the Gravelles, Henry and Bonnie Hoffman brought their two children up in the meat business.

“They both worked here as soon as they were old enough to do something,” Henry said. But unlike Randy, the Hoffmans’ children didn’t continue with the family enterprise. “They grew up, got married and moved away,” Henry said. Enter Randy Gravelle, who was looking for a second business to complement his other local endeavor, R & R Groundskeeping. “I like the work,” Randy said. “ I enjoy cutting meat, and it fits in well with my other business.” R & R Groundskeeping has a yearround crew of two full-time employees, adding about six more to handle the summer workload. There are about seven or eight employees at Hoffman’s as well, he added. Though Gravelle knows he’ll do a good job, he also recognizes that “I’ve got big shoes to fill. Henry’s got a great reputation.” “I’ve got a lot of confidence that Randy will do OK,” said Henry Hoffman. “Bonnie and I would like to wish him the best of luck.” For his part, Henry plans to enjoy retirement, though “I may come down and help him (Randy) out once in a while. Hopefully, it will be an easy transition.” He and Bonnie have no plans to move away from Detroit Lakes anytime soon. “We like Minnesota,” he said. “We live in the woods, and we immensely enjoy it and the wildlife that comes with it. We hope to spend more time enjoying that.” Henry has enjoyed the meat business

over the years, though he acknowledges that the industry has changed a great deal since he started cutting meat more than 35 years ago. “We used to do more custom processing of beef and pork for home lockers,” he said. When Hoffman started in the business, there were more small farmers who raised their own beef and pork, he explained; now, there are very few left who don’t purchase their meat from the local market. “People don’t raise beef and pork like they used to,” he said. In the beginning, custom processing was 30 to 40 percent of his business; now, that amount is closer to the 15-30 percent range. As a result, Hoffman’s has become “more retail oriented,” Henry said. “We’re not only handling fresh meat, but also preparing (i.e., pre-cooking) beef, pork and chicken,” he said. “It’s much more convenient for people who don’t have the time to cook and bake at homes. “That’s probably been the biggest change. We got into cooking and preparing foods to pick up the slack from custom processing.” Hoffman is very thankful for the customers who have continued to patronize his meat market over the years, and hopes that they will continue to do so now that Randy has taken over the business. “We hope all the people who shopped with us will continue to shop here and give Randy their business,” said Henry.

Business Profile 2010

Never AN Overtime ChArge!

Detroit Lakes: A History of Progress,


A Future of Opportunity! New Businesses

Expanding Businesses




• Plumbing • Heating

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Contact: Larry Remmen Community Development Director


Incentives Available •  Low Interest Loans • Tax Increment Financing • Intermediary Relending Program • Industrial Park Sites • JOBZ Zone Incentives The Detroit Lakes Development Authority is an equal opportunity Lender/Agency.

• Fireplaces • Water Treatment


Detroit Lakes Full Service Contractor 1034 Hwy. 59 S. • Detroit Lakes

218-847-1309 Never AN Overtime ChArge!

Your Chamber is your resource for...

Take advantage of the Chamber and get connected! Chamber Staff: Harland Thompson, Kris Tovson, Cleone Stewart, Jean Erickson.

Check out our website at: 700 Summit Avenue • Detroit Lakes, MN

Advocacy Benefits Business Development Business Promotion Community Development Economic Development Business Seminars Information Leadership Marketing Networking Partnerships Referrals Retail Trade Services Tourism Promotion Vacation Planning

FOR MORE INFORMATION Phone: 218-847-9202 1-800-542-3992 Fax: 218-847-9082 P.O. Box 348, Detroit Lakes, MN dlchamber@

Business Profile 2010


Hintermeister, Schultz & Sletmoen launched at the beginning of the year as (from left to right) John Hintermeister, Heather Sletmoen and Mark Schultz decided to combine their seperate businesses. The firm will host an open house this Friday

Published October 7, 2009

Three heads are better than one New accounting firm experienced in lakes area


Three heads were better than one when the accounting firm of Hintermeister, Schultz & Sletmoen started at the first of the year. Two members of the trio, John Hintermeister and Mark Schultz, have worked in Detroit Lakes for years, while Heather Sletmoen plied her trade in the Twin Cities area before moving to Detroit Lakes five years ago. Running independent businesses, Hintermeister and Schultz worked out of the same building at 421 West Main St. in Detroit Lakes next to the fire station for nearly 10 years. “I don’t know how it’s been that long,” Schultz said. Hintermeister moved up to Detroit Lakes in 1980 and worked for two different accounting firms before setting up on his own firm in 1984. Sletmoen moved to Detroit Lakes with her family in 2004, but kept working for the same firm in the Twin Cities from her home until late last year. When she set out on her own, Sletmoen said she was in talks with the other two before joining up. The reality of the accounting business was a major factor in the decision to come together, Hintermeister said. “To me, the business is getting tougher and harder to be alone in the one-person office type of thing,” he said. “Sharing experiences is probably one of the keys we have. And then

we all have a similar philosophy on life, and how we approach our clients and families.” Schultz said combining into one firm means that there are more resources at hand. “I didn’t have a lot of other staff help to answer phones,” he said. He said that the combined firm allows him to focus more on the accounting portion, rather than the day-to-day minutia of operating a business. “Maybe my weaknesses are his strengths,” Schultz said of the ability to bounce things off Hintermeister, and also Sloetmen. Despite being so close together while working separately, it wasn’t the same as working in the same company. Being the new member of the group, Sloetmen said that the other two have been helpful. “They took me in and treated me well,” she said. “It feels good to have a place to come to work instead of my basement.”

Always on their toes

The accounting business itself never stays static, Hintermeister said. With new tax laws and regulations coming down every year, it’s an educational process to keep up with everything. He said that five to 10 laws change every year that affect the ac-

counting business. “We’ve done a good job with keeping up,” Hintermeister said. In addition to just crunching numbers, data security is also part of the job. “We’ve tried to keep on the forefront of technology,” Hintermeister said. “There’s tons of stuff,” Sletmoen added. Schultz said that accountants get calls over other issues besides simple taxes. “So much are offshoots,” he said. With the Cash for Clunkers program, plus energy credits, Schultz said that the public is curious on how it affects them. “A lot of people have a lot of questions,” he said. It turns out that accounting is a people business. “We’ve had so many great clients,” Hintermeister said. “It makes it worthwhile. There are financial rewards, but without those relationships there, this job would be too tough for any of us.” Hintermeister, Schultz & Sletmoen will be hosting an open house Friday from noon until 5 p.m. The office building can be reached by turning west on Front Street from Summit Avenue and then turning north on Oak Grove Avenue. The firm can be reached at 847-9523 or on the Web at

Business Profile 2010



• Landscaping • Lawn Irrigation • Lawncare • Roof Snow Removal • Snow Removal • Retaining Walls • Patio Pavers

mn license #20580124


Lee Moore Construction Residential – New & Remodeling Windows • Siding • Interior Trim Work Decks • Cabinet Work • Ceramic Tile Woodworking of All Types


12436 County Hwy. 29, Frazee, MN 56544 Lic. No.: BC20238874


ECONAR Geothermal Heat Pumps

• New Installation • Commercial • Residential • In-Floor Heat • HVAC & Plumbing Licensed, Insured & Bonded

residential construction new and remodeling skidsteer work

• Carpet • Vinyl

Serving the Frazee-Lakes area

Residential Roofing 218.732.2001 701.237.6494 FREE ESTIMATES meadowland 1118 Hwy 59 S • Detroit Lakes, MN

218.847.4289 218.847.4289

Trent Buck, Owner

218-849-5159 Customer Proof

Flatin insulation CustomerID: 1001048262

Att: Laurie Elsner

For AllCountry Your Surveying The Lakes Since 1946 Land Surveying Needs

• Ceramic • Laminate

Telephone: 218-587-3355

12616 110th St



Publication: Pequot Lakes YP Local

Menahga, MN 56464

Heading: Water Well Drilling & Services

Customer Proof

AdType Description: YP 3Col HalfPage Display-WKO Pro Color

CustomerID: 1001048262

Att: Laurie Elsner

Date: 07.02.2008

Over 40 Years Experience AdID/DisplayAdID: 1023919082/10240925

Elsner Well Drilling Inc

Telephone: 218-587-3355

12616 110th St



Publication: Pequot Lakes YP Local

Menahga, MN 56464

Surveying The Lakes Country Since 1946


Date: 07.02.2008

AdID/DisplayAdID: 1023919082/10240925

Elsner Well Drilling Inc

Heading: Water Well Drilling & Services

License TS01611 • License 057-433-MR • e-mail:

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Licensed • Bonded • Insured


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Business Profile 2010


Independent businesses in downtown Detroit Lakes have much to gain if “The 3/50 Project” gains traction, The initiative asks local residents to think of three independent businesses they would miss if closed and then spend $50 per month among the three to stimulate the local economy.

Published August 30, 2009

Saving Main Street USA New project strives to help independent businesses


The decline of Main Street USA is a new trend as more and more businesses national chains have opened their door. The Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce hopes that a more positive approach helps keep independent businesses in the region open. Mary Beth Gilsdorf, vice president and co-owner of Norby’s Department Store in Detroit Lakes, read about the 3/50 Project in a trade newsletter in April. She said that with the economy in a recession, the project seemed to be a good idea for businesses in the lakes area to embrace. “When you’re looking at storefronts, the margin of error is small,” Gilsdorf said. Independent businesses do not have a national marketing team behind them, nor can they absorb losses as well as national chains, she said. “It’s important to stick together here,” Gilsdorf said. The 3/50 Project aims to keep retail spending local. The basic premise is that shoppers would think of the three stores they

would miss the most if they closed. “Make an effort to stop in those shops,” Gilsdorf said. The other part of the program is spending $50 a month among the three favorite stores. According to the 3/50 Project, if half of the employed population of the nation spent $50 in independent stores, it would generate over $42 billion in revenue. Another statistic the 3/50 Project cites is that for every $100 spent locally, $68 comes back into the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. Only $43 stays locally if that $100 is spent in a national chain store. “It’s a more positive spin on shopping locally,” Gilsdorf said.

Making a difference

She said that if 10,000 people in the lakes area spent $50, simple math would mean $500,000 a month in sales for independent stores. “It makes a big difference,” she said. Anything from buying a birthday gift, gas or toothpaste are examples of what could be bought at an independent store instead buying it in Fargo

while on a shopping trip. “It doesn’t take much,” she said. She said that buying everything locally isn’t realistic, but since it’s only $50 spread over three stores, it should be within reach of many people. “You can save pennies, but you’re paying for it somewhere else,” Gilsdorf said of what could happen if businesses close, leading to a decline in a city’s economy. Most people Gilsdorf has talked to about the plan have been receptive, she said. “They get it. It makes sense and you’re giving some empowerment to them.”

Project launching soon

The plan is to get Chamber members on board through small marketing kits. Gilsdorf envisions businesses mentioning the 3/50 Project in their own advertising to help spread the word. “We’re trying to get the buzz going,” she said. More information on the 3/50 Project is available at www.the350project. net.


Serving the Lakes Area Since 1946 Randy G. Hill

Creamy Creations Cheesecake and More!

Thick, smooth and creamy cheesecakes for any occasion including weddings, graduations, baby showers, holiday parties and gifts.



Gene A. Hill 218-849-7391

LIC. #20062224


Business Profile 2010


Energy, Water, and Our Built-Environment


From urban infrastructure to building systems, airports and highways to energy, land and water, we help build and sustain vital communities. Ulteig is an employee-owned company delivering comprehensive engineering, planning and surveying services to clients across the region and the nation.


Detroit Lakes Office 218-847-5607

Plumbing Fixtures & Supplies commercial • residential • remodeling service & repair• lake homes hot water heating plumbing fixtures & supplies Bonded & Insured • Dan Maloney Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 • License #004298PM


• Commercial • Residential • Industrial


• Electrical Equipment & Panels • Heat loss in Homes & Business


• Electrical Prints • Budgets • Schedules


Business Profile 2010


Pam Noah’s dream of opening her own business was realized earlier this month when The Social Cup opened next to Michael’s furniture on north Washington Avenue.

Published June 28, 2009

North-sider realizes dream


When Pam Noah quit her 12-year job in November, it only took her a couple of weeks to decide on a new career: barista. There was already empty space in the same building next to Michael’s furniture, which she and husband Mike own, and having grown up on the north side of Detroit Lakes, it was the perfect location for a coffee shop with all the bells and whistles: gifts, espresso, sandwiches, drive through, indoor and outdoor seating. After signing the paperwork to get started on Jan. 1, The Social Cup opened for business just over six months later, on June 15, with roaring success. At one point on opening morning, Noah said there were 20 people sitting in the cushy leather chairs drinking coffee and chatting with friends – a solid start by any measure – and the steady customer flow continued all week. Since she decided to start slow and not advertise the space right away, Noah said she had no idea what to expect during those first few days, especially since she and Mike have no experience in the food industry (although, her employees do). But despite the unpredictable nature, Noah said she’s looking forward to a job that is less stressful and different from what her days have consisted of for the last 12 years. Noah was a social worker (that’s how “The Social Cup” got it’s name – get it?) in the Perham school district doing group therapy under Lakeland Mental Health, and said the environment had simply gotten too stressful and, in some

ways, dangerous for her to stay in her position. She said she thought about going back to school for an advanced degree, but decided against it, wanting something that was “less stressful” and more carefree. “This atmosphere has got to be more pleasant than dealing with abused kids and their parents,” she said. Opening a coffee shop in that location had been an option for a while, she said, “but I really enjoyed my job, and it never quite felt like the right time.” She and Mike had used the space as storage for mattresses not on display at their furniture stores. They also own Noah’s in Detroit Lakes. The first opening date was originally going to be in March, Pam Noah said, and then April, and then finally in June. “We started out with the idea of being pretty small and simple, but that expanded and it ended up being a bit more work,” she said. “As with anything, plans get a little out of control.” Still, Noah said there’s “nothing I’d do differently.” Much of the area is fraught with memories – not only did Noah grow up on the north side, but her brother used to work in the meat department when the space was Evan’s grocery store. “This whole building has history to me,” she said. “I’m still using the swing-in doors from the meat department. They had been moved and were sitting in storage.” Since the building also houses the furniture store and Curves on the other end, Noah considers it a great location.

“It’s nice because people can go furniture shopping, and then come over here and mull it over, and Curves is right there,” she said. “Some of the ladies sound like they’re excited to have a place up here, and I’m trying to have fresh, healthy food every day.” And even though the north side of Detroit Lakes isn’t exactly a burgeoning metropolis of growth, Noah is happy to bring some life up. “If our furniture store and Curves wasn’t here, if I didn’t grow up here, I would be concerned,” she said. “I don’t like to see it looking so bleak, so if it sparks anything in anyone, I feel good about that.” What about opening a small business during a recession? “I was (concerned), and I am, still, probably, but at the same time, coffee is coffee, and it’s one of those things that people still drink during bad times,” she said. “I remember walking in the mall or around other coffee shops, and although people might cut back on food or other things, the lines for coffee are still long, so that’s encouraging.” As business gets going, she said she’ll look into expanding services, like wine and cheese in the evenings, renting out the 50-person-capacity space for small parties, or taking bulk coffee orders for area workplaces. Right now, though, The Social Cup offers a full coffee house menu, with hot and cold brews, smoothies, blended coffees, Italian sodas, tea, chai, fresh-baked pastries every morning, sandwiches, salads, and wi-fi. Open Monday through Saturday. Call 844-COFE (2366)

Business Profile 2010


WARNING!: ATVs can be hazardous to operate. Polaris adult models are for riders age 16 and older. Polaris youth models of 90cc for riders 12 and older. Polaris youth models of 50cc for riders 6 and older. For your safety, always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing, and be sure to take a safety training course. For safety and training information in the U.S., call the SVIA at (800) 887-2887. You may also contact your Polaris dealer or call Polaris at (800) 342-3764. For safety training in Canada, contact your local Polaris dealer. The Polaris RANGER RZR is not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passenger must be at least 12 years old and tall enough to grasp hand holds and plant feet firmly on the floor. For your safety, always wear seat belt, helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Always use cab nets. Never ride on public roads, always avoid paved surfaces. Never carry more than one passenger. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Follow all warnings and instructions in the owner’s manual and the on product warning labels. All RANGER RZRs in action photography ridden by professional riders in designated off-road areas. Š2009 Polaris Industries Inc.


 (800) 237-4629 • •

218-847-9304 or 800-705-9304

24360 Cty Rd #113 • Detroit Lakes

WARNING!: ATVs can be hazardous to operate. Polaris adult models are for riders age 16 and older. Polaris youth models of 90cc for riders 12 and older. Polaris youth models of 50cc for riders 6 and older. For your safety, always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing, and be sure to take a safety training course. For safety and training information in the U.S., call the SVIA at (800) 887-2887. You may also contact your Polaris dealer or call Polaris at (800) 342-3764. For safety training in Canada, contact your local Polaris dealer. The Polaris RANGER RZR is not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passenger must be at least 12 years old and tall enough to grasp hand holds and plant feet firmly on the floor. For your safety, always wear seat belt, helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Always use cab nets. Never ride on public roads, always avoid paved surfaces. Never carry more than one passenger. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Follow all warnings and instructions in the owner’s manual and the on product warning labels. All RANGER RZRs in action photography ridden by professional riders in designated off-road areas. Š2009 Polaris Industries Inc.

Community Coop Serves You With

Sales and Service

DETROIT LAKES CONVENIENCE STORE A&W Restaurant Tastee Freez Drive Thru Window Car Wash

LAKE PARK CONVENIENCE STORE Trustworthy Hardware Hot Stuff Pizza Boardwalk Subs


218-847-3190 MAHNOMEN PUMP 24




Hot Stuff Subs and Pizza

C-Store & Auto Shop


Trustworthy Hardware


"Your Community...Your Co-op"


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Lake Park, Detroit Lakes, Audubon, Frazee, Hawley, Callaway, Cormorant, Hitterdal, Ogema


Propane Diesel Fuels Gasoline Tire Service Auto Repair Shop Heating/Air Conditioning

Community Co-ops

s n o i t e Fiv loca to serve you


Business Profile 2010


The visiting areas of the Frazee Care Center, along with the rest of the facility, have new carpet, new furniture and new paint to create a more natural look.

Published March 15, 2009

Upgrades in Frazee Care center finishes renovations

STORY BY jason adkins PHOTO BY brian basham

The Frazee Care Center just finished a little sprucing up. That is an understatement as the complex that is Frazee’s second-largest employer completed major renovations and showed off the facility during an open house on Thursday. “Before, it had old carpet and old furniture,” said head administrator Austin Bilie. “So we just updated the flooring, painted the walls, put in new light fixtures and added new furniture.” The end result means that the facility feels more like a home instead of an antiseptic building. Natural light floods into the rooms and reflects off the earth tones to create a relaxing atmosphere. “That’s the big thing with the carpet,” Bilie said. “One little subtle thing, but it makes a big difference. With the old tile before, all it does is create a hot look like a hospital. “We want to create a home for them,

instead of just a place to move in,” Bilie said. Patient interaction with nurses has changed as well. Instead of approaching an elevated nurse’s station where patients that were limited to a wheelchair had to look up to talk to a nurse, the renovations open up the corners and the desks are at waist level. The dining rooms have also been upgraded. The three dining rooms feel more intimate with wood tables. There is plenty of room to maneuver without feeling crowded. With three different areas, assisted living, rehabilitation and assisted living, no area was left untouched by the changes. There is a Nintendo Wii for residents and their families to use. Bilie said that bowling seems to be the most popular game. Bilie said the $1 million renova-

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contractor start to finish...

tions means that any worries that the Frazee Care Center could close should be gone. “It speaks for itself,” Bilie said. “We’re in it for the long haul.” In addition, it helps the employees feel confident that it will stick around. With 125 employees, Bilie said the Frazee Care Center is tied to the community. A change this year is recruiting high school and Minnesota State Community and Technical College students for Certified Nurse Assistant training. Teenagers play a vital role in running the facility. “They’ll do anything from being a CNA, dietary aide and housekeeping,” Bilie said. “Being a 24-hour facility, we’re very flexible.” The Frazee Care Center is located at 219 West Maple. It can be reached at 3344501 or toll-free at 1-877-528-2874.

• Commercial • Residential • Industrial • Painting • Drywall • Steel Stud Framing INSULATION: • Blow in • Fiberglass Batts • Spray Foam

Brent Gerber

Community Development Insurance Services, LLC Phone: 218-983-3241 • Fax: 218-983-3243 • • Ogema, MN 56569



Business Profile 2010

218-844-2138 877-882-4822 A Division of Esser Plumbing & Heating Esser Plumbing and Heating has a solid reputation for providing quality service in the plumbing, heating and air conditioning industries. In addition, we are the area leaders in geothermal technology. We pride ourselves on the people that work here, and the quality of work provided to our customers.You can trust the experts at Esser’s.


Designing to interpret your dreams. Building to make them last. cUsToM KiTcHen & BaTH caBineTry BooKcases, desKs & sPecialTy caBineTry door & drawer FronTs caBineTry Hardware graniTe & QUarTZ coUnTerToPs laMinaTe & solid sUrFace coUnTerToPs

Since 1969, Cabinetry & Design by JCS has been the lakes area’s premier custom cabinet designer, manufacturer and installer. We are proud to offer quality driven, beautiful & distinctive selections of cabinets and accessories that will not only meet any design expectations, but also raise the value of your new home or renovation project. call to schedule a free consultation today!

Your Geothermal Experts

Scott McKenzie, Manager

da r c y & j e n s av i g , ow n e r s lic. # 2 0 6 2 9 9 8 4

350 eagle street Box 307 | audubon, Mn 56511 p 218.439.6699 | c 800.376.9410 | f 218.439.6484

MEDIATION & FAMILY MEETINGS For more information

Call 218-844-5217 All services are confidential

If you are struggling with conflict and need to find a solution... We can help!

Business Profile 2010




JANUARY – Liz Carlson, Bremer Bank FEBRUARY – Kris Zavoral, Central Market Deli MARCH – Ashley Halbur, DL Newspapers APRIL – Jim Peters, WalMart MAY – Chris Gravdahl, D & D Appliance JUNE – Penny Lund, St. Mary’s Innovis AUGUST – Katie Lommen, Hotel Shoreham SEPTEMBER – Tate & Devon Jansen, Zorbaz OCTOBER – Gary Litzau, Quiznos NOVEMBER – Melissa Heimenz, AmericInn Lodge

JANKE’S SEW & VAC 607 Washington Ave Detroit Lakes


We sell the best and service the rest! Miele and American Made Simplicity Vacuums

Business Profile 2010

The Tradition Continues… Diamonds of Distinction Since 1943





1-800-255-9981 DETROIT LAKES, MN

Price’s Fine Jewelry 218-847-5309

805 Washington Avenue • Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 American Gem Society Member


Serving Minnesota and the Dakotas Q UA LI T Y WO R KMA NSH I P, D E S I G N , M AT E R I A L S & C O N S T RU C T I O N



you waiting for?

Where Performance Counts! WWW.JKMARINE.COM 1-800-774-2628 2 Miles West of Detroit Lakes on Hwy. 10

Open 7 Days A Week Year Round

Your #1 Service & Parts Department

Your Pontoon Headquarters! 2 Miles West of Detroit Lakes on Hwy. 10

218-847-0324 Detroit Lakes Beach Next to Pavilion


Vergas, MN Cty. Rd. 4 & Hwy. 228


Lake Ida - 1 Mile Northwest of Cormorant Village on Cty Rd #5


Business Profile 2010



Washington Square Mall, Detroit Lakes, MN




Andy & Cristy Francis, Owners

Home: 218-439-3320

Excavating • Paver Walks & Patios • Rocks & Shrubs Boulder Walls • Sodding & Seeding • Rip Rap Retaining Walls • Black Dirt • Skidsteer Work • Decks & Siding Windows & Doors • Remodeling • Soffits & Fascia

Cell: 218-849-1034

Save your local economy...three stores at a time.



projectb TM

saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on

3 50 68 1

Think about which three independently owned stores you’d miss most if they were gone. Stop in and say hello. Pick up a little something that will make someone smile. Your contribution is what keeps those businesses around. If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned stores, their purchases would generate $42,629,700,000 in revenue.* Imagine the positive impact if 3/4 of employed Americans did that. For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 of it returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.


The number of people it takes to start the


Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy. For more information, visit © Cinda Baxter 2009; all rights reserved. Proudly supporting RetailSpeaks and independent retailers everywhere. * Employment statistics courtesy U.S. Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2/6/2009

Business Profile 2010


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Marco helps organizations manage their information by applying network expertise to voice, data, video, and print applications.


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 Your Blueprint for the Perfect Home! For unparalleled craftsmanship, innovative design and personal service to detail, make us the builder of your choice. We've been building quality homes crafted with care and precision for over 30 years!

General Contractors New Homes Remodeling & Residential Commercial

Lic. #20164882

DON TIETZ CONSTRUCTION, INC. “The name built on quality”


Over thirty years of excellence

Don & Coleen

Business Profile 2010  

A supplement to the March 10, 2010 Detroit Lakes Tribune.

Business Profile 2010  

A supplement to the March 10, 2010 Detroit Lakes Tribune.