Items related to businesses in and around Northfield

The Ole Store Cafe, Wine Bar & Coffee House is NOT FOR SALE!

I thought it was important to state in a public forum that the Ole Store Cafe, Wine Bar, Coffee House and Deli is not currently for sale or being marketed for sale.

That is not to say that for the right price, any business owner would not entertain a sale at any time. But we took a huge gamble on the Ole Store because of our strong commitment to serve the community and to provide living wage jobs to our full-time staff and those principals remain our primary focus.

Never the less, the many rumors of the businesses impending sale that have been brought to me and our staff are based on the fact that the building's owner from whom we lease, Kevin Green & Associates are actively pursuing the sale of the building. As we have a lease that has 18 months left on the first of three, three-year lease options, the possible sale of the building in no way automatically impacts current ownership or operations.

While it was my hope that the company would be in the position to purchase the building prior to the end of the first three year lease option, my personal situation of going through a divorce with my wife and business partner Lindsay Byhre has made that goal impossible to realize in the near term. In addition, we have determined for the business to be viable, that both the asking price for the building and the current cost of the lease substantially exceed the building's value given both the residential and commercial real estate market and higher than anticipated costs for payroll, utilities, property taxes, insurance and marketing.

Update: Las Delicias to Close on December 30

Update (01/02): The Star-Tribune weighs in on this complicated and emotional story with its own reporting here

Update (12/28): More information and discussion on Locally Grown including response from the landlord and links to background information.

Submitted by Mary Savina (12/26):

Many Northfielders will be surprised and sorry to hear that Las Delicias - the restaurant in the Ideal Cafe space - has posted a notice saying they will be closing on December 30. The Barrientos family has operated the restaurant for more than seven years. They have been on a month-to-month lease, not only for the restaurant space, but also for the family's apartment upstairs and the landlords have chosen not to renew the leases into 2007.

The loss of Las Delicias is a blow to a family that has contributed in many ways (and not just the good food) to the Northfield community. It is also a loss to the community.

Hog Farm Fire in Northfield Kills 5,000 Pigs

The Pioneer Press is reporting that...

An estimated 5,000 piglets and adult sows died early Friday morning when a fire broke out at Holden Farms in Northfield, authorities said.

Click here to read the entire story at the PP site.

Update: Susan Beaumaster submitted a link to a KSTP story that has more information.


Kildahl Park Pointe groundbreaking held Wednesday

In spite of the rainy weather, construction was started Wednesday, at Kildahl Park Pointe. They are taking advantage of the mild winter weather, so that they can complete their project by this time in 2007. Click on the image to see more photos.

Kildahl Park Pointe is a senior (55+) co-op housing project located on the edge of the Northfield Retirement Community campus.  Although there are many senior co-ops in Minnesota, this will be the first built in Northfield.

Members will have access to all of the life-long learning amenities of Northfield.  These oportunities include Cannon Valley Elder Collegium (, St Olaf's Lifelong Learning Program ( and the many other benefits offered by our two local colleges for the citizens of Northfield.

Just Food Turns Two!

Submitted by Joey Robison, Marketing and Member Services Manager, Just Food Co-op:

Just Food Co-op

If you are looking for organic food, food produced locally, products without additives, natural health and body care products, and eco-friendly housewares, you can find them at Just Food Co-op. This weekend, the Co-op celebrates its second anniversary with an anniversary bash on Saturday, December 16.

Thanks to the sponsors who keep us online would like to take a moment to thank our generous sponsors, who have agreed to match the contributions of our new members.  Please take a good look at the list, and remember the names when you're doing business here in town.

Their generosity continues to help Northfield and become a better community.

Brett Reese named to hospital board

Brett ReeseBrett Reese, a Northfield businessperson, has been named to the Northfield Hospital Board of Directors. He was nominated by Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing and approved by the Northfield City Council in November.

Reese replaces Steve Delzer, who resigned last month following his family's move from the community.He will serve out the two years remaining on Delzer's term. A longtime Northfielder, Reese has a background in business development, manufacturing and finance. He serves as chair of MCG, Inc, a provider of motor solutions to the motion control industry and commercial marketplace. Reese also is a principal in Rebound Enterprises, a company that works with and invests in emerging companies and those experiencing financial or management difficulties.

Reese is active in the Northfield community in a variety of roles. He currently serves on the boards of the First National Bank of Northfield and Northfield Automation Systems, Inc. as well as various non-profit organizations such as Prairie Creek Community School and the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation. 

One Farmer's View of the Ethanol Issue

Locally Grown LogoThe always perspicacious Tracy Davis is one of the regulars on the Locally Grown website. Tracy seeks out Jerry Franz, one of six farmers who are trying to build an ethanol plant in this neck of the woods:

Ethanol reduces carbon monoxide, reduces benzene, a carcinogen, and using ethanol blends reduce green house gases.(this all according to EPA) Ethanol is not the perfect fuel but it sure beats buying from the Arabs and it is a great boost to rural economies and small rural towns.

Click here to read the entire article.


Editor's note: This entry originally credited the ethanol entry to Griff, but he let us know that Tracy is the author.

Come celebrate another year of

Tis the season for fun—and for the Northfield Citizens Online annual meeting. We will be gathering at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at Carlson Capital Management to share a toast to another great year, another as we elect and install our new board members, another as we honor and thank our outgoing board get the idea. Let's just say it won't be a boring business meeting.

Chamber hosts Holiday Social at the Rueb

The Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual holiday social at The Rueb Wednesday night. Among the featured schmoozers: Kathy Ness and Judy Grundhoefer.

 You can move to the Rueb website and see 30+ more in the Rueb photo album. And see 4 dozen more photos in the album from the December 2004 event.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere: Repeal Day Edition

TWINB LogoThe 'Sphere ish back and we're got that... uh... thing, 'cause it's Repeal Day today wooooooooo!  Yeah!  We wuz jusht sitting here and we were all like "We should totally write that Blogostuff 'cause, it's like, due, man." And I was like "That's the besht idea I've heard all night" and then that waitress came by, you know the one... yeahhh, you know the one... and we ordered another pitcher, 'cause it's Repeal Day!  Wooooooo!  The Sphere is back!

Rushing through the holidays? We'll help you get it done

Jon Manners, here. Connie and I have decided to keep Custom Framing Studio open longer during this busy time. Not round-the-clock, mind you, but:  Monday through Saturday, 10 am until 5 pm. We're going to drop the weird hours we've been keeping on Thursday and make it like any other day--there will be no siesta! And yes, you read that right, we will be open on Mondays.
    How long will we keep this up? Bring in your framing right up to, (maybe even through), December 19th and we will have it ready for The Big Day. For that matter, if you are truly a last minute gambler, I might be able to squeak something through on the 20th. Talk about last minute! 
    And even after the 20th, I'll take whatever jobs I can using moulding I have in stock.  I can work with your pre-existing frame, as is, or cut and resize to fit new projects.   Matting - no problemo.  Is there anything else I can do for you? I'll sure try!

NDDC to discuss priorities for 2007 at December forum

What are the priority projects for downtown vitality in 2007 and beyond? What would you, as a shopper or business owner, like to see downtown in terms of services and amenities?

The Northfield Downtown Development Corp. will turn its December 5 Downtown Forum into a conversation among the audience and members of the NDDC board of directors. The NDDC board wants to hear ideas from those who have a stake in the health and vitality of downtown, including building and business owners, retailers and shoppers.

The monthly forum will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the lower-level conference room of the Archer House, Third and Division streets. The public is welcome, and coffee and cookies will be served.

Many substantial projects currently are being discussed in Northfield. Among them are: expanding or relocating Northfield Public Library, relocating the Municipal Liquor Store, upgrading or relocating City Hall, relocating the Safety Center, constructing a community Arts and Culture Center, constructing a YMCA and even renovating or relocating the downtown branch of the U.S. Post Office. All of them will require capital investment and offer potential economic return. And all of them could have an impact on the vitality and viability of downtown.

Chamber will host Winter Walk December 7

After 8 years, the downtown Winter Walk is becoming a holiday tradition. The Northfield Chamber of Commerce will host the event again this year from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, December 7.

If you haven't been to the Winter Walk before, you can click on the charming scene at left to see a whole gallery of photos from last year's event. And remember, you'll have a whole week to adjust to the cold before you have to venture out.

The Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce and downtown businesses sponsor this community event, which features caroling, sleigh rides, storytelling and other fun, all done amid lovely storefront decorations and luminaries designed to create a special holiday mood.

Of course, Santa's elves will be around all evening, and stores will have evening hours. There will be cocoa and marshmallows, live reindeer and an interactive live Nativity scene.

NPRE to collect food and gifts at the Winter Walk.

Northfield Professional Resource Exchange (NPRE) will be setting up a booth on Bridge Square, just across from Santa Claus, during the Winter Walk on December 7.

We will be collecting food as well as unwrapped gifts for children up to 18 years of age. All will be donated directly to the CAC and food-shelf.  Please stop by and visit us as we will be serving hot apple cider and will also be singing charols from 6-7 p.m. 

NPRE is a local professional organization dedicated to providing community members a trusted resource to turn to for business and professional services.  Please see our member list and website at

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