Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 Section 2
Growth continues at local business
Webster City RV expands service department REG FRE ISTER F EH OR SUIT OT TUB AME E AT RICI NN*
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Page 2, The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013
Webster City RV adds six service bays to continue growing success
Expanded service By JIM KRAJEWSKI email@example.com
Through the year, Webster City RV has expanded their business and service through growing sales and market share. To meet growing demand, Webster City RV doubled the number of service bays at their location at 301 Closz Drive. Adam Ruppel, general manager, said many dealers forget about the service needs of
Ruppel said. That demand showed in the amount of vehicles the business serves. Ruppel said the six technicians that Webster City RV employs used to work in only six bays. He said it got to the opint where service appointments were backed up by a month and Webster City RV had no choice but to expand. Ruppel, who has been general manager for a year and a half, said Webster City RV was built in 2000. The business has grown annually from there, up until 2008 when the recession - Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Jim Krajewski hit. However, Ruppel said Webster City RV offers a wide selection of campers, travel trailers, fifth wheels, bunkhouses, toy haulers, that from 2009 onward, motorhomes, fold downs and more. Since 2009, Webster City RV has continually seen record sales numbers and acquired Diamond Trail RV near Des Moines last year. See RV, Page 8
Adam Ruppel General Manager Webster City RV the vehicles they sell. Webster City RV added six service bays that can service electrical, plumbing, refrigeration, heating, leaks, body work and more to the vast selection of travel trailers, fifth wheels, bunkhouses, toy haulers, motorhomes, fold downs and more that Webster City RV offers. "The additional bays will allow us to keep up with the growing demand and keep Webster City RV in the forefront of RV service,"
- Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Jim Krajewski
TOP: Webster City RV added six service bays in January, doubling the amount of service bays the business offers. LEFT: Webster City RV is located at 301 Closz Drive.
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The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, Page 3
Warm up a winter day with a sauna Card’s Tan-N-Fold offers tanning, laundry and a soothing sauna By ANNE BLANKENSHIP firstname.lastname@example.org
On cold, bleak winter days, many people take advantage of the warmth of a tanning bed, like those available at Card's Tan -NFold, located on Seneca Street. The business also has a new sauna that is proving to be very popular with their customers. “We just installed that a month ago,” said owner Dietz Card. “And it is so good for so many things.” Card noted that the infrared sauna – different from a steam sauna – offers a variety of different health benefits including weight loss, blood circulation, detoxifying the body, relaxation, pain relief, can lower blood pressure and skin purification. Card said she suffers from back pain and felt time spent in the sauna has given her significant pain relief. “I feel great for hours afterward,” she said. “The first couple times I got in the sauna, I thought it was my imagination. But it wasn't. It was real.” Card said the sauna sessions take about an hour. She said ideally, those using the sauna stay in for about 30 minutes once the unit is up to temperature – between 110 and 140 degrees. Then there is a cool down period for about 10 minutes. “The whole thing is very relaxing. We keep it softly lit and there's music in
— Dietz Card Owner, Cards Tan-N-Fold there. I take a book in there and read,” she said. The glass sauna is in a room with a door, offering maximum privacy, Card said. Wednesdays, the business offers a discount on sauna sessions, she added. “Word of mouth about the sauna is spreading,” she said. Many people have stopped in to check out the new unit. Card said if people call ahead, she can be sure the sauna is up to temperature when they stop in for a session. Sauna sessions are half-priced on Wednesday, according to Card. Card opened her business last spring, pairing tanning and a laundry service in the one location. She had worked at the Video Place until it closed last year. Prior to that, Card worked as a nurse for 17 years. But when the Video Place closed, she knew she didn't want to go back to nursing. So, her husband David Card See CARDS, Page 8
Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Anne Blankenship
Dietz Card, the owner of Card’s Tan-N-Fold, has combined tanning and a laundry service to offer her customers a unique blend of personal service.
LEFT: The business has six different tanning beds — both low and high pressure — for their customers. Card said she also offers a punch card for tanners. After 10 tans, the 11th session is free. RIGHT: The newest addition to the business is an infrared sauna which offers a myriad of health benefits, according to Card.
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Page 4, The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013
Everything old is new again Area consignment shops offer variety, style at bargain prices By TERESA WOOD email@example.com
lion with 2,500 stores in 2010. Another interesting statistic is that while 21.3 percent of the shopping public frequent major department stores and 19.6 percent shop at apparel stores, the thrift shop draws 16 to 18 percent of the shopping dollar while consignment shops capture 12 to 15 percent, according to NARP. "The resale market is blossoming thanks to valueconscious consumers," reports the NARP. Locally, thrift stores and consignment shops offer consumers value and variety.
Whether you are looking for a rare find or hoping to stretch the family budget, consignment shops represent the ultimate in recycling. According to the National Associaition of Resale Professionals (NARP), in the United States there were 25,000 resale, consignment and not-for-profit resale shops in operation in 2009 the last time a report was issued. Since that time, it is estimated that the consignment industry has continued to grow by seven percent annually. That makes it a part Sister Act of a multi-billion dollar in642 Dubuque Ave. dustry which generates $13 Ellsworth billion in sales, annually. ELLSWORTH — Sister Goodwill Industries is the leading thrift store with Act is the longest running generated sales of $2.69 bil- thrift store in the area, es-
Jessie Kane of Ellsworth hunts for an interesting book at Sister Act in Ellsworth.
tablished over a decade ago by sisters Janet Wing and Patty Hoverstein of Story City. Dee Hoefer took over the business in 2002 and was joined by Shawnda DeWitt in 2009. From the Dee street, the Hoefer building reveals little of the treasures to be found inside. OK, so there is no kitchen sink at Sister Act, but shoppers can find just about any- Shawnda thing else in DeWitt the four big showrooms from welding equipment, pictures, furniture, records, books, dishes, bedding, afghans, suitcases, vintage clothing and sporting goods. Sister Act also carries Pampered Chef items and Longaberger baskets from area dealers who have liquidated inventories. "We have affordable prices on gently used items," said Dee Hoefer. The store is a trip down memory lane for many shoppers. "People come in and say, 'I remember grandma had that or my mother had that,'" said Hoefer. “Our store brings memories back.” Business hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Terms are 50/50 between
- Daily Freemna-Journal photos by Teresa Wood
Prom dresses are trending now and Sarah Kopriva hangs a new arrival at R Company in Webster City. The consignment shop receives contemporary dresses and the inventory has been growing each year, she said. the store and consigner. Hilda's Hoopla 214 W. Broadway Eagle Grove EAGLE GROVE — Shoppers may not find a Hilda at Hilda's Hoopla, but they will find mens, womens and childrens clothes and shoes in addition to furniture, antiques, home decor, holiday items, toys, electronics, household items, bedding, blankets and collectables. With ten large rooms, the saavy shopper is sure to find some unexpected treasure. "The inventory is always changing," noted current owner Katheryn Thul. Thul is the store's third owner and has operated it since 2010. She concedes that there is no Hilda and admits that there never has been. "The first owners were two women," explained Thul. "Their last names were Hill and Davis and they took the letters from their last names to create 'Hilda'". Mystery solved! But why didn't Thul change the name when she took over?
"I opted to keep the name because it was unique and people tended to remember it.” And Hilda's Hoopla does attract a number of shoppers with a sweeping radius — Ponchanotas, Belmond, Mason City, Clear Lake, Fort Dodge and Webster City. "We attract quite a few from the Webster City area," said Thul. "I think people just like to come and shop outside of town.” Currently trending are prom dresses and the store carries contemporary fashions within the last five years or vintage from 20 to 30 years ago. "What's old is new again," said Thul. While specific seasons usually dictate current top selling items, Thul said purses account for her most sales. "I was surprised at first," said Thul. "I expected kids clothes to be the big seller, but purses constantly are — that and outselling mens' clothing.” Thul estimates that purses account for approximately 20 percent of her total sales. Business hours are Mon-
day through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. R Company Consignment Boutique 620 2nd St. Suite 3 Webster City The name for R Company Boutique and Tanning was born 15 years ago, even before sisters Sarah Koprinva and Marta Paukert knew they would eventually partner together to create a consignment shop. Koprinva and Paukert both had license plates which read "R Aunt" and "R Uncle" as homage to a beloved aunt and uncle. "We all have R (our) license plates," Kopriva said. "So when we were looking at finding a name, we talked with all our family and friends and came up with R Company.” Kopriva, a breast cancer survivor, first became interested in the consignment store while recuperating from chemotheraphy. She had worked part-time at the previous shop and when the owner decided to See SHOPS, Page 5
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Continued from Page 4
sell, she asked Kopriva if she was interested. Her entire family pitched in to clean, paint and work night and day to bring the store to life. "I was very specific in the way I wanted to brand it," she said. Dealing exclusively with clothing, Kopriva is discriminating about apparel that will make it to her display floor. She personally reviews every submitted article. Also, she only accepts clothing from smoke-free homes. "We strive to carry higher-end consignment clothing, brand name clothing and accessories," said Kopriva. Her motto - R Company provides brand names on a budget.
- Sarah Kopriva Owner, R Company
suffered losses in fires or to schools, said Kopriva. Kopriva rotates all her inventory seasonally with the exception of maternity clothing. "Those are always available," because there is always a demand, she said. R Company runs promotions such as Two for Tuesday. "If our items sell better, it is better for our store and for our consigners," said Kopriva. Currently trending are prom dresses with a great selection. "Every year it gets better and better," said Kopriva of the variety of styles and sizes. This prom season, R Company has partnered with Tina Poland of pHairytails hair salon and will be offering Milroys tuxedos, she said. R Company offers mens and womens clothing from 2T to 24 Plus. She has a special section of career clothing for the young professional woman, including office wear and suits. Another specialty section is Cooper's Corner which features clothing geared toward the young Hilda's Hoopla, Eagle Grove, offers clothing for the man. entire family in addition to home decor items, colStore hours are Tuesday lectibles, small electronics, jewelry and fashion ac- through Friday, 10 a.m. to cessories "We carry contemporary clothing and are fashionforward," said Kopriva. "We want to have the appeal of a quality boutique.” The items that don't cut the mustard or have rotated through a season without being sold are donated locally. Some of the organizations receiving donated clothing include domestic abuse shelters, Upper Des Moines Opportunity, families who have
- Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Teresa Wood
Sandi's Attic in downtown Webster City offers household items, toys, clothing and furniture. Seasonal sales make room for new merchandise. 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Consignment terms are 60/40. Sandi's Attic 606 2nd St. Webster City When Sandi Davis opened Sandi's Attic in March 2010, she had a vision to offer customers "everything you would want or need to start a home with.” Dishes, furniture, VCR and DVD tapes, pots, pans, and pictures are among the items the store carries. The store also offers men's, women's and children's clothing. A limited selection of craft supplies and paints are also available, she
said. Davis not only accepts consignment items, but she attends auctions in of search potential merchandise. "I try to Sandi hit auctions Davis when I can," Davis said. The auctions are a good opportunity to replenish her store's inventory. But Davis also offers finder services and the list of customers requesting a certain item is carried with her when she attends each auction. "I am here to help the people of Webster City,"
Davis said. "Our prices are reasonable.” Davis also offers consulting services. She will help customers with research and give appraisals on merchandise or personal items. While Davis does attend auctions, consignment sales are 95 percent of her business. Currently, the store is featuring winter clearance items. "Spring items are coming in and we are preparing to bring them out," she said. Store hours are Tuesday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. Consignment terms are 50/50.
Page 6, The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013
Relaxation time n Shanti Wellness Spa welcomes two massage therapists By ANNE BLANKENSHIP firstname.lastname@example.org
Massage therapy has become increasingly popular in the past few years, not just for relaxation but also because of the health benefits it can offer. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, a July 2011 study showed 24 percent of women and 13 percent of men reported having a massage in the past 12 months. Spas are where most people continue to receive massage, with 23 percent of those surveyed in July 2011 saying they had their last massage at a spa. Shanti Wellness Day Spa in Webster City offers a variety of massage packages and recently welcomed two new therapists to its staff. Originally from the Harcourt area, Joanne Haman has lived in Webster City since 1993. She said she worked for Electrolux for several years. When the plant closed, she went back to school and earned her cosmetology license and her massage therapy license at La James College in Fort Dodge. Haman will also be doing nail care at Shanti Wellness Spa. “I do a lot of manicures, pedicures and lots of shellac,” she said, and will do nail art on request. Brandon Kacere grew
Brandon Kacere, Massage therapist, Shanti Wellness Day Spa
up in Cedar Rapids and has recently moved to Webster City from Illinois. He attended school in Fort Collins, Colo. and earned his massage therapy license there. He has studied massage therapy for about seven years and recently obtained his Iowa license. Kacere said he has experience in craniosacral massage, as well as integrated massage which is tailored to the patient's needs and lifestyle. Both therapists said they conduct an assessment with each client before the first session to discuss the areas of the body that would benefit from massage and the client's needs.
- Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship
Brandon Kacere and Joanne Haman are the new massage therapists at Shanti Wellness Day Spa, Webster City. Both are available by appointment by calling the the spa at 832-8979. Haman takes appointments Tuesday through Saturday and Kacere is available for appointments Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Haman will also offer nail care services at the spa.
The therapists said frequent massages can provide a variety of health benefits. “It promotes good circulation, pain relief and good health,” said Kacere. “It's definitely worth coming in once a week.” Both Haman and Kacere said they were pleased to be working at Shanti Wellness Spa. “I love the atmosphere here at Shanti,” Haman said.
“There's a nice ambiance at the spa. It’s very warm and welcoming,” Kacere said. Haman is available by appointment Tuesday through Saturday, and Kacere takes appointments Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Call 832-8979 to make an appointment with the therapists. In addition to massages, Shanti Wellness Spa offers many other services, according to owner Mary Fortune.
“The biggest new thing is the laser hair growth. It's designed to help with hair loss, thinning hair, broken or damaged hair,” she said. The treatment also can aid various scalp condition and other medical conditions. According to information about the treatment, the laser therapy is used to stimulate nutrients and energy to the hair follicle and to increase protein growth. Fortune said many people who don't realize that
she offers a complete menu of anti-aging treatments. “I have micro-current, an LED light system and others — a lot of things that you would have to go to a larger city to find or to med spas. But they are right here in Webster City at a much more reasonable cost,” she said. Other services offered include body treatments, waxing, manicures, pedicures, gel nail enhanceSee SPA, Page 8
The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 Page 7
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Page 8, The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013
- Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship
Cards Tan-N-Fold offers laundry services and tanning at its Seneca Street location. The business recently added an infrared sauna.
Continued from Page 3
gave her a different direction to take. He found her a suitable spot to open a business at 917 Seneca St. â€œSo many people asked me to open a tanning salon,â€? she said. â€œAnd I loved working at the Video Place (which offered tanning) and all of the people there.â€? David Card remodeled the building and built all of the tanning rooms, completing the task in just five weeks, she said. He did the work in his spare time in addition to working a fulltime job. The shop also has recently added another tanning bed, bringing the total to six. There are three low pressure and three high pressure beds. A shop also carries tanning supplies including lotions, creams, goggles, tan-
ning aids and other accessories. Card said she offers a punch card for tanners. After 10 punches, the 11th tan is free. To pair with the tanning business, she turned to a chore that many people loathe. But for Card, laundry seemed to be the perfect complement. "And I thought, 'I love doing laundry, so maybe I could do both here,'" she said. She charges by the pound to do loads of laundry. Customers can drop off laundry and Card will wash, dry and fold the items to be picked up later. â€œCompared to laundromats, we're much cheaper,â€? she said. â€œWe actually went to a laundromat and priced it all out. I charge $1.25 per
pound of laundry. And I wash, dry and fold everything for the customer. They just have to pick the items up, take them home and put them away. Very simple and easy for the customer.â€? Card said there is a discount for senior citizens and she invited local businesses to contact her about pricing. "We have large capacity machines that can handle king size and queen size blankets and comforters," she said. "I've had a lot of single men and busy moms stop in," she said. "They come in and think that they have to do the laundry." Most are quite surprised that she will do the work for them, Card said. To reach Card's Tan and Fold, call 832-7913.
Continued from Page 6
ments, micropigmentation â€” also known as permanent make-up and teeth whitening. Fitness classes are also offered at the spa. Fortune teaches an exercise class Tuesday and Thursday mornings called â€œA.M. Hotties,â€? consisting of cardio, strength training and flexibility. Catharine Nedved teaches a Kundalini Yoga class on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Fortune has also taught a Hatha Yoga class occasionally. â€œI encourage people to keep an eye on our website because the classes can change periodically. The website offers our most upto-date information,â€? she said. The website, www.shantiwellnessdayspa.com also outlines all of the services, classes and specials offered. Fortune said those interested can sign up on the website to receive an email newsletter. Shanti Wellness Day Spa, 620 Second St., Suite 2, Webster City, is open Tuesday through Saturday.
Continued from Page 2
Webster City RV has seen record sales. The business carries a wide variety of makes and models from Cougar, Redwood, Trail Runner, North Trial and more. Ruppel attributes the success of Webster City RV to its sales team and other committed staff members. â€œThey work hard and they work with customers to find what they want. We have an awesome staff,â€? Ruppel said. Prior to last year, the record number of vehicles and campers sold by Webster City RV was about 310. That record was shattered in 2012 with over 500 sold. Ruppel said the businessesâ€™ market share has grown from eighth or ninth to the top four dealers in Iowa consistantly. Webster City RV also acquired Diamond Trail RV, located off highway 35 in Bevington. A grand opening is planned for Diamond Trail RV on March 23. They are also planning to add four service bays to Diamond Trail RV, making a total of six service bays. That acquisition puts Webster City RV at about 40 employees and ownership of several stores. Rup-
- Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Jim Krajewski
Webster City RVâ€™s sales have grown considerably since it opened and is now consistently in the top four of its market share in Iowa. pel affirmed that their on- grow,â€? Ruppel said. going success is due to Webster City RV also their great, helpful staff. plans to host a couple open â€œOur success is due to houses on April 5 and on the amount of employees April 13. The business is who care about the store. open weekdays from 8 Their hard work has given a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturus the opportunity to day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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- Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship
Mary Fortune displays the laser hair growth system offered at Shanti Wellness Day Spa in Webster City.
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The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 Page 9
Filling up the seats Webster Theater operators look for ways to bring in more movie patrons By ANNE BLANKENSHIP firstname.lastname@example.org
The concept of shopping locally is a notion that many small communities have embraced across the United States. Building a loyal following of community members have made it possible for many shops, stores and service businesses to remain viable members of the retail community. The operators of the Webster Theater are hoping that the community will rally around their business and support them by seeing movies locally. Than and Sarah Mott took possession of the movie house in June. They also purchased the Metropolitan Theater in Iowa Falls. Both have logged several years in the movie business and even met while working at an Iowa theater. The couple had the opportunity to buy the Webster Theater and the Iowa Falls theater. They were interested in the Iowa Falls movie house — located in Than Mott's hometown. The former owners, Big Time Cinema decided to throw the Webster City theater into that package. "When I saw the Webster Theater, I said 'yes, absolutely,'" Sarah Mott said.
Webster City, the couple sold the Oskaloosa movie theater. The past eight months have not been smooth for the couple, according to Sarah Mott. There were difficulties closing on the sale and threat of eviction from the former owners followed which would have likely resulted in the closing of the local movie house. "We were preparing to shut the doors. Then we got the papers that said they had filed bankruptcy," Sarah Mott said. Big Time Cinema reportedly filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy in July or August. The Motts were told by the banks involved to just “keeping running the theaters.” And that's what they've done. They've even made the two neighboring theaters friendly rivals, hosting attendance competitions – all meant to increase the number of people attending the movie showings. Every person in the seats buying a ticket equaled one point, and every concession purchased – whether the customer stayed to watch a movie or simply took the treats home – also counted towards the total. “Any head count that we can show the film companies that we have enough traffic counts towards getting the movies in,” she said. Slow times But September through February has been slow, and combined with the issues relating to Big Time Cinema's bankruptcy, plans for upgrades and changes have been delayed. They haven't been able to make the switch from 35mm films to digital
h ot buy
Experience Than Mott has been working in the movie industry since 2000 when he began working with Fridley Theaters. "I ran the theater in Iowa Falls for a while and ran Manchester for two years," he said. He was then sent to Boone and operated that theater for a year. He returned to Iowa Falls and managed the Metropolitan for Fridley Theaters until 2006. The Iowa Falls and Webster City theaters were later split off from the Fridley enterprise and Than Mott managed the local theater for a short time until Big Time Cinema bought the properties. Than Mott went onto manage movie houses in several communities and later bought a theater in Oskaloosa. But when the opportunity arose to get back to Iowa Falls and
— Sarah Mott Manager Webster Theater yet. There have also been persistent plumping issues to deal with. And the couple haven't taken a pay check since December. ‘Really hard’ “It's been really hard just to keep the lights on and pay the employees,” she said. “Getting the big name movies in has been hard. We've been having to wait on movies for three weeks before we can get them in.” In Iowa Falls, attendance has grown from as few as eight people at a Friday night showing to more than 80 consistently for three weeks. That response meant the Metropolitan Theater was able to open the latest “Twilight” movie and the Motts were able to get a copy for the Webster Theater as well. The response in Webster City, however, was lackluster. Sarah Mott said that while any theater can put up posters for coming attractions, they never know which film they are getting until the Tuesday before the weekend opening. “I can understand people's frustration,” she said. “But at the same time, I can't necessarily relate. If I know the movie is going to be in my town in three weeks, I wait to see it.” “I can guarantee that we will get the movies in if we can keep a consistent 10 people per night in the seats on weeknights and 20 people per show on the weekend, then, yeah, we'll get the big movies in,” she said. A box of popcorn purchased during those times, even if they're not seeing the film, still counts in those totals, Sarah Mott reminded residents. The theater was able to
- Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship
Than and Sarah Mott operate the Metropolitan Theater in Iowa Falls and the Webster Theater in Webster City. Pictured along with their daughter, Yvonne, the couple is working to keep the local movie house open. open “The Hobbit” late dwindled to maybe 15 per continue. “I really want to keep last year, but she said she show.” She said that recently, this going. I love this theregrets that move now. The cost to bring that film to the couple was contacted ater and this community. Webster City was not off- by the banks to make an But the bank and the disoffer on the theaters. She tributors want to see the set by attendance. “We did a poll on Face- said that while they plan to numbers,” she said. “I book asking whether we keep working towards this don't want to close.” Most recently, the Webshould open the film or purchase, the biggest help wait a few weeks. We re- would come in the form of ster Theater has shown the film version of the wellceived many private mes- community support. The Webster Theater has known stage musical, “Les sages asking us to open the film,” she said. “I think our had a long history in the Miserables.” Opening this best nights were about 50 community and the Motts weekend is “Zero Dark people but after that it want to see that tradition Thirty.”
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Page 10, The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013
Travel center is flying high
Williams Flying J Travel Plaza opens in November; Center features a Subway restaurant, Cinnabon By TERESA WOOD email@example.com WILLIAMS — Just into its first two months of operation, the Pilot Travel Center's Flying J in Williams is already flying high. Since opening at Interstate 35 and State Highway D-25 on Nov. 19, the travel center has logged more than 75,000 transactions each month. “It has greatly exceeded all expectations," said Greg Spurgeon, store manager. The 12,000 sq. ft. store replaced a smaller Flying J Travel Center which previously stood on the site. On Aug. 13, 2012, demolition of the old Greg building began and its ab- Spurgeon sence was immediately felt as traffic exited off of I-35 and continued to travel to the barricaded construction site, causing the occasional traffic jam. But when the new complex opened in
late November, its return was a welcome site for travellers along the busy I-35 corridor. Like all Pilot Travel Centers, the Flying J is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and it caters to the over-the-road professional as well as the casual traveller. For the driving professional, the Williams location boasts eight diesel lanes with seven DEF lanes, seven passenger vehicle fueling lanes and one RV lane. For convenience of all customers, the professional truck traffic is diverted to a separate area from passenger traffic. Truck lanes also circle around the complex to ease traffic flow. For the professional driver, the site offers 100 parking spaces and CAT Scales. Inside is a drivers' lounge with HD TV and theatre seating. The Williams location one of only 50 sites nationwide which is part of the US Department of Energy's Shorepower Truck Electrification Project. Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Department of Energy installed electrified truck
parking at locations along the nation's busiest freight movement corridors. The project provides electric standby operation that allows trucks to run on battery power to eliminate engine idling during mandated rest periods, said Spurgeon. "People can plug in their RVs or electric cars, too," said Ben Neubauer, of the maintenance crew. "They are electric refill stations that you can pay for three ways — with a debit or credit card, online or by phone.” While a professional driver's office is on wheels, so there is also a laptop center that offers WiFi connections, a FAX machine, Western Union services and an ATM for when drivers come off the road and need to conduct their business. The travel center also caters to the needs of the professional driver by offering laundry services and seven private showers. For the RV motorist, the site also sells propane and has a dumping station. The Williams site is one of over 600 Pilot Travel centers throughout the United States and Canada. With 60,000 profes-
sional parking spaces and 4,000 shower facilities nationwide, Pilot Flying J leads the industry in travel centers. Based in Knoxville, TN, Pilot Flying J sells approximately nine billion gallons of petroleum annually. In November, Pilot Travel Centers initiated its new focus on healthy foods for customers. The Williams site features many of those new choices. The breakfast bar features offerings of a "Sunny Head Start" morning meal. The breakfast bar offers steel cut whole grain oatmeal, cheesy hash brown casserole with sausage, cinnamon apples and breakfast pizza served from 6 to 10 a.m. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., the hot soup bar includes chicken noodle soup, beef and bean chili, loaded potato soup and broccoli cheese soup. In addition, visitors can choose chicken tenders, potato wedges, pizza or the American favorite — hot dogs with many condiment choices. The Flying J refrigerator case is stocked with a wide variety of beverages from waSee FLYING, Page 11
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The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, Page 11
Continued from Page 10
ter, tea, carbonated drinks or milk. And what is a truck stop without coffee? The Williams Flying J offers eight different brews of caffeinated and decaf coffees. Coffee is so important to the Flying J brand that it even employs a coffee hostess to supervise the continuous flow of java. Susan Stewart is the Williams' Coffee Hostess and insures the coffee is always on and all the condiments such as chilled and flavored creamers are available in addition to several types of sugars and sweeteners. Visitors inside the travel center are welcomed by the heavenly aroma of Cinnabon rolls, made fresh daily by Lori Roosa. In fact, on opening day, the Williams' Cinnabon made company history by setting a sales record, said Spurgeon. Then on the second day, the Williams' Cinnabon outsold the first day's sales. "That record still holds," said Spurgeon. The Subway sandwich shop is also open 24 hours, seven days a week and offers made to order breakfast and sandwich fare. Cassie Butler manages the store with 14 employees. Subway also offers catering services. While the original plan for the Williams' store called for a traditional dinein restaurant, Pilot Flying J has teamed up with restaurant affiliates to provide dining fare which caters to the lifestyle of travellers. Some of the restaurants include Subway, Arby's Wendy's, Taco Bell and McDonald's. The company is the largest nontraditional franchisee of Subway sandwich shops with over 150 shops located within its travel centers. The Flying J's convenience store is divided into two sections — food service and merchandise. Be-
sides the customary snack aisle, the store also features a grocery selection of musthave items. The eight-foot beauty and health aisle of-
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fers basic health care products, beauty items, cleaning supplies and pet foods. The store offers cell phones, BlueTooth, GPS accessories and CB radios. It also stocks necessities for the over-the-road businessman. Included are travel size coffee makers, slowcookers, vacuums and 12volt adapters. Vehicle parts and supplies include windshield wipers, cables, belts, transmission fluids, oil, antifreeze and basic tools for repairs. For the souvenir hunter or the unprepared visitor to Iowa in the winter, the Flying J has Iowa t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, hats and gloves. Flying J also stocks winter chemical additives by the case for diesel vehicles and farm machinery. The store also features an electronic case which display HD televisions, CB radios, GPS equipment and inverters. With the recent severe winter weather, the Flying J has provided a safe haven for highway travelers, said Spurgeon. "During the last storm, we had trucks parked everywhere," he said. "You would think in the winter, your work would slow down," said maintenance crew member Ben Neubauer of Alden. "But our shifts go pretty fast.”
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ABOVE: Maggie Utech of Williams works at the cash register at the I-35 and D-25 Flying J Travel Center in Williams. The new travel plaze opened in late November 2012. LEFT: Lori Roosa of Webster City frosts warm Cinnabons, fresh out of the oven at Flying J Travel Center. On the opening day, the Williams' Cinnabon made company history by setting a sales record. Then on the second day, the Williams' Cinnabon outsold the first day's sales. According to the store’s general manager, Greg Spurgeon, that record still stands.
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Page 12, The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013
Summer delicacy available year round Sweet Treats packages famous homemade ice cream for Jewell store By BILLIE SHELTON firstname.lastname@example.org JEWELL — It could be that one of the best ways to spend a summer evening is eating ice cream outdoors with your friends. Ice cream is happy food, a simple pleasure that not only tastes good but makes you feel good, too, especially if you get to enjoy it with your friends while sitting outside on a summer evening. That’s what Mike and Jan Miller were counting on when they opened Sweet - Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Billie Shelton Treats in the back yard of Mike and Jan Miller take a moment to enjoy some of their ice cream. The Millers built a 24-foot by 24-foot their Jewell home in 2008 building the for making and storing ice cream, which they call the creamery. with four flavors of ice cream they made them-
selves. The business has grown each year since, and customers now can choose from 20 to 25 ice cream flavors enjoyed in a dish or a cone, a shake or a malt, a sundae or a banana split. Eight flavors of soft serve ice cream is available, as well. Ice cream lovers come from a wide area to enjoy a treat, affirming Mike Miller’s theory that “you need a good product, but you need a good atmosphere, too. People like coming, seeing other people, sitting in the shade. ” “We didn’t have a clue See SWEET, Page 13
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The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, Page 13
Continued from Page 12
— Jan Miller Owner Sweet Treats
-Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Billie Shelton
ABOVE: Jan Miller demonstrates how containers of ice cream are filled from the 30-gallon freezer. During the summer, the Millers’ business, Sweet Treats, is open every night. RIGHT: Jan Miller scoops up red raspberry ice cream into individual containers. The popular summer time treat is now available in the off-season at Anderson’s Grocery in Jewell. when we started,” recalls Mike’s wife, Jan, about that first summer and getting their new business off the ground. “We figured maybe a dozen people would show up that first night, but there were lots more than that. And we haven’t looked back since.” Although the Millers didn’t know what to expect in terms of response to their venture, they had done plenty of planning leading up to opening. They researched recipes, tweaked them to make them their own, and tested the product on focus groups like the Jewell Lions club. Jan took samples for her co-workers at McFarland clinic, where she has been a technical
analyst for 14 years. Until a few years back, both the Millers — who have three grown children — had full-time jobs in addition to Sweet Treats. Mike, formerly an accountant at the Poet ethanol plant, is now a substitute teacher. From May 1 until October 1, they are open for business at Sweet Treats every evening from 6 until 9 p.m. Don’t they get weary of such a pace? “I think just having the good crowds and being at events keeps you energized,” Jan answers with a smile. “But we’re ready for Sept. 30 because it’s 150 nights straight,” Mike admits. “We have only one
night off during the season.” That’s in addition to setting up to sell ice cream at both the Ames and Des
Moines farmers markets 15 to 20 summer Saturdays. And they have taken their ice cream trailer to hometown festivals.
“It’s really fun to go to these small-town festivals,” Jan said. “It’s special for us to see our customers in their town.” Last summer was the first time the Millers hired two high school girls to assist them in Jewell and at the farmers’ markets. Those customers come from all over Hamilton County and beyond to enjoy ice cream. There are motorcycle groups who stop by, buses that come in from care centers, and little league teams that stop by with their families and coaches after practices and games. The Millers’ hospitality shows with Jan’s remark about their customers. “We don’t get out and go on vacation,” she says. “We expect people to come here. And they do. We wouldn’t have met one-tenth of the people we have without the business.” Jan, who said she thought about opening such a business for ten years before it actually happened, especially enjoys developing new ice cream flavors like the popular salted cashew, banana, and even maple bacon. Every season there’s a new flavor or two. And yet it’s vanilla that’s their top seller each season, followed by chocolate and strawberry. Mike says six to eight flavors account for 60 percent of their sales. Making all that ice cream — an amount that
was up to about 200 gallons per week last season — takes planning and time, of course. That first summer, “after we closed at 9 p.m., we’d work until 3 a.m., go to bed, and then get and go to work. Every weekend we’d make ice cream. We could make two gallons of ice cream at a time,” Jan recalled. Now that they have commercial coolers and ice cream freezers, the Millers can make 15 gallons of ice cream in an hour. Making ice cream is done daily. “We know that our ice cream doesn’t taste like other ice cream,” Jan noted. “We don’t use a mix; we take raw ingredients and put it in ourselves. We can get virtually everything we need (to make the ice cream) here in town.” Their ice cream has 12 to 14 percent butterfat. This year the Millers added another direction for their unique business when Anderson’s Grocery in Jewell started offering Sweet Treats ice cream for sale in the off season. “We never started this thinking we would get rich making ice cream,” notes Jan as she considers the success of Sweet Treats. “It’s a fun business, and it’s creative coming up with new flavors. “We wanted to have something Jewell could be proud of for young and old alike,” she continues. “So people embrace us.”
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Page 14, The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013
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