Business

Items related to businesses in and around Northfield

Heritage Dental celebrates new name, offices

NCO Board member Rick Estenson sent this little bit of news about the former Division Street Dentists.

Heritage DentalThey have a new name, Heritage Dental Care, and a new larger office at 2011 Jefferson Road. The office opened May 1, but last week they held a formal celebration.

"It doesn't take long to get used to being able to breathe," said Dr. David Brust of the new space, which is twice the size of the old one. Brust shares the practice with Drs. John H. Ehresmann, Michael C. Remes and David R. Buck. The men looked for six months for a site downtown, but couldn't find anything large enough. Finally, they settled on building a new office, but that meant taking on a new name to reflect their location near the intersection of Jefferson Road and Heritage Ave.


City faces tough choice on new theater

Editor's note: How many screens, how many cars, how much popcorn does it take to make money in the movie business today? Check back later for an in-depth interview with Steve Mann, one of the owners of the successful Twin Cities-based Mann Theatres chain.

Southgate CinemaAnyone who thinks small town government isn't a challenge is nuts. I've been covering small towns for many years and the questions they decide often leave them in a no-win situation—with friends and neighbors on both sides. They're decisions I wouldn't want to make.

For example, lots of cities face zoning issues where community officials know that a developer can take a lucrative project to another city if they don't approve it. Rarely, however, does the developer have the option of moving a mere 80 feet away to get to that other community.

That's the philosophical debate the City Council will face in June when they receive a Planning Commission recommendation to refuse a change in the Comprehensive Plan to allow commercial zoning for about seven acres of land along Highway 3 across from Target. The change is the first step needed for landowner James Gleason and a developer to build a multi-screen movie theater complex.


James Gang Hideaway is open!

Joan and Jim SpauldingHey Northfield tastebuds – you now have some fresh and flavorful options such as grilled asparagus, brie, roasted red peppers, with a basil pine nut pesto or fajita chicken, grilled zucchini, roasted red onions, topped with provolone cheese and pesto mayo – both on ciabatta bread and hot off a pannini grill. That’s the sort of fare being offered at the James Gang Hideaway now open downtown on Division Street.

Co-owners Joan and Jim Spaulding (pictured) also operate the James Gang Coffeehouse on Highway 3. They’ve brought over many of the mainstays from that enterprise and added a whole lot more.  “Our appetizers are not your standard fare,” says Joan, offering olive tapenade, basil pine nut pesto and Italian oils and bread for dipping as examples. The HideAway also provides deli service with fresh pastas and pre-wrapped sandwiches to “grab and go.”

Their wine and beer list is unique to the area, too. They have selected “the best of very good products.” By limiting their list to a dozen or so wines and half a dozen beers, they’re confident they’ll be able to give their customers quality beverages at a reasonable price.


Twin Cities developer to add 50 homes along golf course

The housing market in the greater metro area may be softening, but one Twin Cities development firm is optimistic enough about Northfield to move ahead with the final phase of the Rosewood Subdivision.

Mark Gergen and Lynn Giovannelli of Miles Development Corporation plan to complete the Rosewood 5th Addition, bordering the Northfield Golf Club. The plan originally was approved in 1998, but Gergen and his partner modified it to eliminate all but one cul de sac and make smaller lots to accommodate 50 new detached townhomes on small lots along a curved street that will connect to Wall Street Road. The plan also calls for an adjustment in the extension of Jefferson Parkway to straighten the connection to Wall.


River City Books launches weblog and podcast

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River City Books has a new weblog called RCBlog authored primarily by some creature named River City Raven.

They also have a new podcast called River City Ruminations (that's a link to their Feedburner podcast feed, but you can also one-click subscribe via iTunes). First episode of the podcast features last Friday's appearance at the NAG by Lorna Landvik, part of the Northfield Reads! community-wide book club event.

(In the interest of full disclosure, they're a client of mine.)


This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere

It's a visual feast this week on the 'Sphere - if your pics ain't rockin', we don't come knockin'. Pictures of Northfield, St. Paul, Beijing, and much, much more after the jump...


Outdoor Dining Contest

Click to view contest entry form (PDF)Lots of good discussion is going on about the future of sidewalk dining in downtown Northfield, but do you know all the places where you can eat outside in the area now?

The current issue of the Northfield Entertainment Guide has a fun contest about these dining venues, with a chance to win a prize by matching the names of the restaurants with pictures of their outdoor seating areas. You can try your luck at the contest by clicking the image here to download a full-size PDF of the contest page and following the directions to enter. Then let's meet for some lemonade...outside, of course!


St. Olaf Students Tackle Wal-Mart

Class finds giant retailer's impact embedded in communities, society

Is Wal-Mart the enemy of our society or just a reflection of it?

Click to view larger sizeAbout 200 people flocked to the Lion’s Pause at St. Olaf College Thursday night to witness the symposium: “WalMart America – Changing the Face of Our World”. The event, hosted by Professor Eric Fure-Slocum’s History 297 class (Wal-Mart America), drew a diverse crowd of St. Olaf students, faculty, alumni, and a number of Northfield community members.

The event included presentations of the students' research, ranging from an examination of how people of different faiths respond to Wal-Mart, to Wal-Mart’s impact on local crime rates, to the retailers' shaping of the music industry, to the enormous changes in the U.S. and global economies in recent decades.

The highlight of the evening was a lively panel discussion, moderated by students Max Wojtanowicz ’06 and Anna Gieselman ’06. Panelists [pictured, from left to right] included Rebecca Judge (Professor of Economics at St. Olaf), Ross Currier (Northfield Downtown Development Corporation), and Jenny Shegos (United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789). Shegos is also the local field coordinator for Wake-Up Wal-Mart.


Local Architect Interviews Global Design Leader

Peter SchmelzerWe love it when local people get out there and shake things up.

In case you haven't heard, a local Northfield architect is getting some wider exposure. Peter Schmelzer is too humble to brag, but his brother Paul let us know that the brothers have teamed up to interview Achitecture for Humanity founder Cameron Sinclair for a book coming out in the United Kingdom called Land, Art: A Culture Ecology Handbook.

Peter and his wife, Mary, started Vivus Architecture two years ago on 5th Street in downtown Northfield, doing both architecture and interior design, Paul is the managing editor of the Walker Art Center's magazine and manages the Walker blogs. Paul said he invited Peter to join him in interviewing Sinclair—their first writing collaboration—because Peter's interest in green design would complement his own interests in art and activism. Peter also is interested in seeing whether there is interest in starting an Architecture for Humanity chapter in Northfield.


NDDC outdoor dining forum Tuesday morning

Click to view larger sizeHow could sidewalk dining in downtown Northfield be a boon to the local economy? What are the disadvantages of having alcohol sold outdoors, within full view of minors? Is there a risk to restaurateurs?

Those questions and more will be discussed at the next NDDC Downtown Forum Tomorrow Morning (Tuesday, May 2) at 8 a.m. in the lower-level conference room of the Archer House.

Panelists will include Northfield Chief of Police Gary Smith, Contented Cow and Chapati owner Norman Butler, and attorney David Hvistendahl, owner of Froggy Bottoms. Also in the audience will be several restaurateurs, including Todd Byhre of the Ole Store Café and Joe Grundhoefer of the Rueb-n-Stein.

Coffee and cookies will be served, as always, and a lively discussion is the goal. For more information, visit www.nddc.org or call 663-0319.


Neighbor to Neighbor: Champion Sports' Bill Brodin

Are you heading downtown Northfield to buy cleats? If you go to Champion Sports, you'll probably be helped by Bill Brodin. Bill has worked at Champion Sports for years. Here’s the scoop on Bill:

Bill Brodin, NHS ’87, was born and raised in Northfield. His mother graduated from NHS in the 1950's when the old middle school was the high school. Bill has one older brother, Dan, and one older sister, Beth. He plays golf but his favorite sport to watch is hockey. Bill's father used to be a hockey referee here in town.

Bill says the coolest thing he's ever seen in his life was game seven of the 1991 World Series. It was the loudest experience he's ever heard and outside the dome everyone was "slapping hands and acting crazy".


Hospital clinic development

Northfield Hospital and Cannon Valley Clinic — Mayo Health System are developing a partnership to expand clinical services in Northfield and the hospital’s extended service area.


Village on the Cannon Featured in April Minnesota Good Age

The story, entitled "A Life of Learning," focuses on housing developments for older adults which have ties to educational institutions. The article features quotes from Bill Carlson, director of Northfield's Cannon Valley Elder Collegium, Collegium instructor Bill Woehrlin, Village concierge Kari Sobeck and Village resident Susan Hvistendahl who offers Spanish classes in the Community Room of Village on the Cannon.

Hvistendahl is pictured in front of Old Main at her alma mater, St. Olaf College, and Jeanne Jacobson and Greta Smith are pictured on the front page in their Collegium class on the Russian writer Anton Chekhov held at the Village.


Locally Grown podcast #12: bike racks, bike lanes, economic development and traffic light updates

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I took the train to Cambridge in the UK yesterday to visit Northfielders Betsey Buckheit (former blogging planning commissioner), husband Justin London (Carleton music prof) and daughter Elizabeth who've been there since Sept. Justin received a Fullbright to do research there for the year.  I took the opportunity to do another show for our podcast, Locally Grown, with Betsey as a guest and the two of us participating via Skype Out to the KRLX studios where Ross Currier, Tracy Davis and Cameron Nordholm graciously got up very early on Saturday morning central time to accommodate my schedule.

Topics: 1) Bike racks and the pros and cons of bike lanes in downtown Northfield; 2) the forthcoming economic development report from the consultants hired by the EDA; 3) an update on the Highway 3 & 3rd St. traffic light request.

Click "Read the rest of this entry..." to listen (32 minutes) or subscribe to the podcast


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