Business

Items related to businesses in and around Northfield

Going straight to the source

St. Olaf students checking out local bovines as part of their Community Agriculture course.

If there exists a book that every student in a college environmental studies course reads, it would likely be The Omnivore's Dilemma. But how many students who have read Michael Pollan's bestseller have visited one of the food producers he describes?

Students in the new Community Agriculture and Local Food Movements course at St. Olaf College had the opportunity to see part of the book come to life this spring when they visited Lorentz Meats as part of a lesson on local meat production. The company's vice president invited the students to look out two large glass windows on opposite walls. One offered a view of the cutting floor, and the other looked out on something few Americans have seen: the slaughtering process that brings beef to their tables.

Read the full story at stolaf.edu . . .


Northfield Area United Way: Nearly $300,000 in Grants

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Northfield Area United Way recently wrapped up its Grants process, a three-month procedure that gives money to local non-profits working in human services. We granted a total of $299,000 to 31 local programs. It feels like a great investment in the community.

We reviewed a lot of proposals – and crunched a lot of numbers – over the past few months. I’m still fairly new as the Executive Director, and this was my first time through the Grants process. The experience was exhausting . . . and exhilarating.  It was an eye-opening education on the breadth and quality of services across the community. And not just for me. A number of volunteers who served on Allocation Panels were happily surprised by the wide scope of work that NAUW helps fund. “I had no idea” became a common refrain.


Northfield Community Video Project

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The Northfield Community Video project has launched nine “webisodes” featuring stories about the people, places and qualities that make Northfield a special community. Funded by a number of local organizations and businesses, the videos are intended to introduce Northfield to people in their 30s and 40s.

While the videos are intended to promote the community to people outside of Northfield, anyone may see the entire series on the City website.  The sponsoring organizations (see below) will also include links or embedded videos of some or all of the segments on their own websites. Northfielders are encouraged to promote the videos on Facebook pages and in news feeds.


Preservation Alliance of Minnesota tour of Owatonna, Faribault and Northfield.

Downtown Faribault

An event to benefit the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota

(Saint Paul, Minnesota – May 19, 2011) -- Tickets are now on sale to join PAM on its tour of historic Minnesota downtowns. Stroll through the beautiful downtowns of Owatonna, Faribault and Northfield and see firsthand how historic preservation plays a role in the future of these communities. In addition to walking tours of each downtown, our second PAM-o-rama tour of the year will make stops at significant buildings along the way, including many listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tickets are $30 per person for Preservation Alliance of Minnesota members and $35 per person for non-members. Reserve your tickets today online or by calling (651) 293-9047 x2


Northfield School of Arts and Technology (ARTech) Receives School Finance Award

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ARTech, a 6-12 public charter school in Northfield, has been presented with a FY 2011 School Finance Award by the Minnesota Department of Education.  The award is presented to public schools in the state of Minnesota who meet specific standards of "fiscal health and sound fiscal management and accountability."  A complete list of the critera for the award can be found here.  ARTech, in its 8thyear of operation, is a project based charter school with approximately 120 students.  ARTech’s current Director is Simon Tyler, and Business Manager is Rebecca McMullen.


Business Planning Workshop Offered In Northfield

Northfield area residents will have the opportunity to take advantage of a unique workshop on April 30, 2011.  The “Business Plan in a Day” workshop is designed for start up or existing business owners.  This fast-paced workshop shows you how to create a business survival plan in just one day. Use the easy-to-follow outline to craft a plan for making it through the economic downturn, launching a new service, or getting a jump on the competition.  Attendees will leave the six-hour workshop with a completed business plan.

“We believe this hands-on approach to writing a business plan will provide valuable help to local entrepreneurs,” says Megan Tsui, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s (SMIF) Business Development Specialist. “The condensed six-hour format will also fit in with peoples’ busy schedules.”

SMIF, as part of its efforts to strengthen local entrepreneurs, is hosting the workshop along with partners Northfield Enterprise Center, Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce, St. Olaf College, WINGS, and SCORE.  Instructors are Megan Tsui, Bryan Standing (Riverbend) and Shane Bowyer (Bethany College).


Northfield Historical Society Announces New T-Shirt

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The Northfield Historical Society (NHS) is proud to announce a new, custom-designed "Every Girl Loves an Outlaw" long-sleeve women's T-shirt to be sold in the Museum Store, located in the heart of downtown Northfield on Bridge Square.

First in a series of NHS "Outlaw" theme women's apparel, it takes inspiration from the 1876 attempted robbery of our First National Bank at the hands of the James-Younger Gang, as well as Northfield's modern-day James-Younger Gang.

From concept, design and production, this shirt is a 100% Northfield project. The NHS Museum Store Committee provided the original idea, while James Gang member Trip De Mann, resplendent in his duster coat and full James Gang regalia, posed as the "Outlaw" that all girls will love. Talented local artist Nick Sinclair created the graphic and Larson's Printing brought it to life in colors of red, gray and ivory on a shapely black T-shirt that will flatter every woman.


How the Arts Help Build Sustainable Communities

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Ann Markusen, who has served as a professor and director of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, will be the keynote speaker at a regional arts conference to be held at the Owatonna Arts Center on May 7. The focus: Building Sustainable Art Communities.

Markusen, a specialist in the relationship between culture and economic development, will speak about “Accessing Creativity: How the Arts can help Build a Stronger Community.”

“In many smaller cities, investments of time and energy in arts and cultural space, events, and networks are producing multiple benefits for citizens: more and varied artistic experiences, revitalized downtowns, ways of bridging across generations and ethnicities, and a renewed sense of identity and confidence,” commented Markusen.

Other speakers include Bruno Borsari from Winona State University, who will discuss “The Arts as Living Landscapes, an Agronomist’s View,” Catherine Egenberger, who will speak about “Connecting the Arts and Schools,” and Hal Cropp, who will share his views on “Creating Sustainable Arts Organizations: The Lanesboro Model.”   Panel discussions will address perceptions of “Good Art, Bad Art” and “How the Arts Can Help Sustain Communities.” 

Markusen will share what she learned from research done for the National Endowment for the Arts, and from studies she has done on the role of arts and cultural organizations in Minnesota and California. She will address the key role of artists and arts organizations in the creative placemaking process.

Following the presentations by featured speakers, small group sessions will focus on topics of interest, including the latest in grant writing tips.  The conference, sponsored by the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council in cooperation with the Owatonna Arts Center, is open to artists, members of arts organizations, and the general public.


Northfield Retirement Community Announces Plans for Youth Volunteer Event

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Northfield Retirement Community (NRC) recently announced details about its first Youth Volunteer Event, a gathering of community members, youth groups and others, designed to build connections, encourage community involvement and enrich the lives of both residents and volunteers. This year’s event, which coincides with National Volunteer Week, will be held Saturday, April 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. on the Northfield Retirement Community campus.

“This event is an outgrowth of our Backyard Mission which emphasizes our belief in the importance of putting Christian love into action,” said Milosha Malecha, director of activities and volunteer opportunities at NRC. “Our goal is to bring people together – young and old, residents and community members – to create lasting connections and make a positive impact on our campus.”


Get your pens boys they’re threatening our post office!

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As you are probably aware, Regional District Manager, Anthony Williams, of the U.S. Postal Service has contacted Mayor Rossing indicating the Post Office is considering a consolidation of the downtown branch of our post office - and relocation of postal services from that site to the Highway Annex.  We are writing to appeal for clarity and pointed action on this important issue.  In fact it’s not clear that a final decision has been made to close our post office. City Administrator Tim Madigan is working to find out the facts. As we await that word – let’s get busy.


Three new pizza places set to open, all serving same flat pizza

Disgusting Non-flat Pizza

Northfield has spoken and it wants more flat pizza!

Three new pizza restaurants are scheduled to open this weekend, Bill's II, Floody's, and Ye Olde Tyme Depot Pizzae/Visitor Informatione/Transite Hubbe, all of whom plan on serving the popular "Northfield-style" pizza.   When asked about their gastronomical decisions, the owner of Bill's II responded "Well, we did some local market research and discovered that Northfield is dominated by 'flat pizza' parlors, therefore we decided to enter our version of this pizza since that's obviously what Northfield wants."

Local resident Arlo Lipof was happy to sit down for an interview: "We were on vacation the other month out of state and when we ordered pizza it came in something called a 'pan'.  Well, we didn't know what to do with such a thing - so foreign, so unappetizing.  It was good to get home to some real food, something we can sink our teeth into." 

"But not too deeply", he added.

Floody's will be opening in the old Froggy Bottoms location.


New Malt-O-Meal cereal a knockoff of existing M-O-M cereal.

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Due to a communications slip-up, the new Malt-O-Meal cereal "Frooty Hooptys" has been revealed to be a knock-off of an existing M-O-M cereal "Tooty Fruitys", which is in itself a take on Kellogg's "Froot Loops".  The square-shaped marshmallow corn cereal is "our take on the classic family favorite 'Tooty Fruitys'", says M-O-M spokeswoman April Sloof.  "The addition of 'froot-flavored' marshmallows distinguishes Frooty Hooptys from it's Tooty Fruity predecessor.  It's a market-leader type of product", she added.

"We don't see this as a mistake, but rather breaking new ground in our product line, enabling us to really stretch our froot-flavored offerings."

She also announced the forthcoming launch of several new cereals: "Phroot LoopZ", a derivative of the popular new "Frooty Hooptys" cereal which is a knock-off of "Tooty Fruitys", which is a nod to the original "Froot Loops", and is aimed at the urban market.  Phroot LoopZ features a mixture of froot-flavored puffed rice star-shaped cereal with a 'rainbow' of marshmallow options. 

Also coming soon: The Toots Loops, a bold look at the newly popular "Phroot LoopZ", which is a take on the new "Frooty Hooptys", which is a nod to "Tooty Fruitys", based off the ideas put forth in "Froot Loops", and is aimed at the emerging 'Adult Cereal Market'.  "This is a cereal which breaks new ground in the 'aduilt-oriented' market, featuring froot-flavored chunks of pure iron and marshmallows of puffed folic acid."


Northfield: The Video

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Watch local Northfielders, including pastor -- and noontime basketball star -- Will Healy (in photo), talk about why Northfield is so great in the new Get to Know Northfield! video series produced by Blue Moon Productions of St. Paul. The series includes nine “webisodes” featuring stories about Northfield's people, places, and qualities.

Funded by a number of local organizations and businesses, the videos are intended to introduce Northfield to people in their 30s and 40s. Northfielders are encouraged to promote the videos via social media.

"When I first moved here it was summer," Katie Helgen, a doctor at Northfield Medical Center, says in one segment. "So everybody was outside all the time in their yards, kids were in town on their bikes, and I really felt like I had moved to Mayberry."


Railroad Exhibit at Northfield Historical Society Opens on Thursday

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The Northfield Historical Society, in cooperation with Save the Northfield Depot, will unveil their joint exhibit “The History of Northfield’s Railways” on Thursday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m.   Jim Machacek, long time Northfield railroad buff, will talk about trains in Northfield at 7:00.  The public is urged to attend.

The exhibit includes historic photos and objects depicting important railroad developments from 1865 to the present. The one remaining 1888 depot on the west side of the river is a reminder of the history of the railroads which contributed to the thriving agricultural businesses in historic Northfield.  Members of Save the Depot Northfield are working to move the building and restore it to former condition and use as a hub for transportation and visitors.


New Business Training Series Being Offered Locally: "Building Up To A Business Plan"

Community Entrepreneurship Project

Every year over ten million people think about starting a business, and over six hundred thousand actually do. Ever thought of starting your own business, but not sure what it takes or how to go about it?

As a follow-up to its introductory series in February, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, the Northfield Enterprise Center, WINGS, the Northfield Chamber of Commerce, and St. Olaf's Center For Experiential Learning  have teamed up to provide an in-depth series of classes for would be entrepreneurs and business owners called "Building Up To A Business Plan.

Research shows that people who go through the process of creating a business plan before they launch their new venture, have a three to four times GREATER probability of sustaining a succesful business.  A business plan is a low-cost tool that will help ensure you that your business concept is feasible, viable and desirable.


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