Items related to businesses in and around Northfield

NDDC promotes Currier, welcomes Bierman

The Board of Directors of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) recently promoted executive director Ross Currier from a half-time to a full-time position. At the same time, the board welcomed new member Robert Bierman (Bierman’s Home Furnishings and Floor Coverings) as he begins a three-year board term.

Schmidt Homes named EnergySmart Partner of the Month

Northfield EnergySmart BuildingWorks (ESBW) has named Schmidt Homes as its first EnergySmart Partner of the Month. ESBW is an initiative of RENew Northfield, with funding from the Northfield Area Foundation and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Schmidt Homes was selected as the February EnergySmart Partner of the Month in recognition of the company’s long-standing commitment to building high quality energy-efficient homes. Since the company’s founding in 1981, they have been dedicated to energy savings and environmental protection. Since 2005, Schmidt Homes has committed to building 100 percent of its homes to federal Energy Star standards.

Homes that earn the Energy Star rating must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star qualified homes are at least 15 percent more energy-efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC).

Ole Store closed for at least a month

Sean Hayford O'Leary of Locally Grown noticed that the Ole Store website has this notice:


We've opened a forum thread to discuss the changes and reminisce about good times you've had there...

Local bookseller gets industry notice

If you get a minute, stop by Monkey See Monkey Read and visit with owner Jerry Bilek. He's not just a nice guy, but he's one of the bright spots in downtown. And now others are taking notice. Jerry was just featured in a profile in the industry publication Shelf Awareness.

Jerry is running a great store, which is amazing in a time when independent booksellers are an endangered species. He's not just waiting for people to walk in the door, though he's unfailingly helpful when they do. He also spends all his free time running a thriving Internet business, seeking out bargains and rare finds that let him beat some of the big sellers on price. 

And he listens to customers. He recently told me that when a couple of teens came in asking about Japanese anime publications, he only had two titles -- and very little understanding of the genre. Instead of blowing off the young customers, he talked to them and asked them for recommendations. He ordered their choices, they told their friends and now he has the broadest selection in the area -- and a new customer base. 

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere: Smoke gets in your eyes

The 'Sphere is back!  In this week's edition: The MN state smoking ban, coal smoke, reducing your pollution, and cub scouts.  Cub scouts?

Tom Neuville leads us off this week with a lengthy explanation of this opposition to the proposed MN state smoking ban...

I grew up in a home with 6 children, and parents who smoked. None of the children in our family smoke today, or have suffered any adverse health impact because our parents smoked. I have tried to discourage my own children and others from smoking. Perhaps in this partisan climate, anyone who opposes more government regulation of smoking, feels the need to make an “up-front” disclaimer. So, I just did. I am no apologist for tobacco.

This week in the forums: In like a lion

There's something in the air tonight, baby, and it's the forums!  (Previous link contains bad language in the comments, which is too bad because it's mind-bendingly awesome.)

Bright Spencer hands out "Bright's Downtown Shop Award":

Bright Spencer:  

Today I went to Anna's.  IF the lady with the dark black medium length hair is Anna, I am talking about her.  She was marvelous, waiting on 3-4 people at once, and saying all the right things without being saccharin or phoney.  Now there is a lady who knows her business, seems to like what she is doing, is welcoming, polite, funny, and really helpful.

This Week in The Carletonian

Singer, Fritz elected to lead CSA
By Kyle Kramer ‘10
With a voter turnout of over 60 percent, Carleton students elected Tim Singer ’08 and Peter Fritz ’08 as Carleton Student Association President and Vice-President, respectively. Becca Bartram ’09 was elected secretary, unopposed. Singer, who ran on a platform of campus sustainability, beat challenger Cherise Jones by 20 votes.

Civil rights leader Minnijean Brown Trickey delivers convocation
By Evan Sander ‘10
One of the nine African-American students to desegregated Little Rock Central High, Trickey spoke of the harassment and personal safety risks in going to school in 1959. “It made no sense for me to blame my fellow white students for the terror that they were demonstrating towards us, but to look deeply at the whole institution which incited that and made it possible,” Trickey said. Trickey is currently a civil rights activist and worked during the Clinton Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

Southgate: Movies from Feb 23 - Mar 1

Movies playing this week at the Southgate Cinema, Northfield...

Northfield Wi-Fi goes on-line

Apparently we were Northfield WIFI's first residential customer.  We were delighted with their installation service.  The difference in speed from our former provider is noticeable.  I measured downloading and uploading times.  Previously we downloaded material at 2.9 mg (we were paying for 3)--now we blaze along at 4.9 mg.  Uploading speed has gone from 238 K to 1.5 mg! 

See for more information.  I wil update you about how this works through blizzards and leaves once those events occur.  (I am not affiliated with NorthfieldWIFI and am not reimbursed for these comments.)

This Week in the Northfield Forums - Post-Valentine's Day Edition

Valentine's Day has come and gone again, so one last Valentine's haiku for you, my love:

I post this for you
type type type type type type type
type type type type.  There!

I have also arranged a special solo performance, mon ami.  And now, to the forums! 

The New/Old/Possible City Liquor store sparked some interest this week:

John Thomas wrote:

A bigger store will have a large debt service, as well as an increased labor cost to staff and stock it. If the store is only making several hundred thousand dollars a year, it will take quite a while to pay back the note on a new building.

It just seems like there are more important things for the City Council to be working on. Selling more booze for profit is not going to save this community, or pay for its parks and pools.

Congratulations to Hayes Scriven and NHS

Let's add our congratulations to those of everyone else at the news that Hayes Scriven has gone from interim to permanent executive director of the Northfield Historical Society. You can read the details here, and add your best wishes in comments below.

Hayes has been a great asset to NHS and I'm excited that his contributions are being rewarded. Great job! 

The Ole Store now is open for dinner 7 nights a week!

The Ole Store will be open 7 nights a week for dinner starting February 18. After 18 months in business open Monday-Saturday for dinner, the Ole Store is adding Sunday nights to our lineup.

The additional night is being added in advance of the Ole Store's participation in the Twin Citie's Food and Wine Experience being held at the Minneapolis Convention Center February 23-25, 2007. The Ole Store will be the only area restaurant represented at the show.

We hope that the additional evening and exposure to some 15,000 visitors at the Food and Wine Show will build on our Twin Cities destination diners and the Ole Store can continue to help stregthen the Northfield Retail market. As always, please support your localy owned, independent businesses.

Catch the action and learn about free publicity!

A "Writing Roundtable" has come to Northfield to promote best practices in business writing.  Barbara Cordes, owner of Making Words Work!, is offering the third in a series of monthly events,  "Press Releases and Media Articles." 

Join featured speakers Anne Bretts, managing editor of and Devlyn Brooks, managing editor of the Northfield News as they share tips about the submission process of how to get free media coverage.

Movies at Southgate Cinema, Feb 9-15

Movies playing this week at the Southgate Cinema, Northfield...

Valentine's Day sweets in Northfield

valentine treatsLooking for a good Valentine's day present can be tough. You're not sure what he or she wants, how much money you should spend, or where to get it. But for those of you who are looking for something light and easy and that will still reveal your undeniable love for someone, there's always candy. But first, here is a quick history of Valentine's Day for those who never bothered to find out why it exists.

The holiday is actually named after two martyrs named Valentine who died on February 14th. During the medieval times some legends sprung up that a certain St. Valentine passed a love note to a woman before he was killed that read, "From your Valentine." Another legend that was created was that a St. Valentine helped arrange secret marriages during a ban on marriages by the Emperor Claudius II. Over time, people began to adopt this new holiday by passing each other Valentine's day gifts such as notes and sweets.

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