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Local Business

Down at Brownie’s

Ray Brown, of Fort Dodge, starts his day earlier than most people. The 69-year-old owner of Brownie’s Cafe, 1712 Central Ave., gets up and going at about 1:30 a.m. And he doesn’t have to go very far to get to work. “I live in the back,” Brown said. By 3 a.m., he starts ...

A kick ‘axe’ attraction

ALGONA — On a recent weekend, about 80 students from North Union High School spent their after prom at one of Algona’s newest main street businesses. But the main attraction wasn’t playing cards or dominoes. The primary activity had more of an edge to it. “They all threw ...

Four generations strong

When Nate Moeller visits customers’ homes in Fort Dodge, he’ll sometimes find air conditioning or heating units that were installed by his grandpa decades ago. Moeller, the son of Fred Moeller, returned home in 2020 to become manager of the family business — Moeller Furnace Co. ...

Remembering Rudy

FARNHAMVILLE — Going to town with grandpa to visit the local Friendly Tavern is something Kendall Kail has fond memories of as a child. Kail grew up on a farm outside Farnhamville. And getting to observe his grandpa’s interactions with the locals was quite a thrill. “He always ...

Under one roof

MANSON — Deb Huntsinger’s first job was at a place called the Corner Cafe in Manson. And she’s spent a lot of time in the food service industry since then. “I’ve done it for over 40 years,” she said. “Started when I was 13.” Now Huntsinger is in a position where she’s ...

Transformation

MALLARD — When the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mallard closed in 2018, many in the town of less than 300 people assumed it might just sit vacant. But Phil Harris, owner of Harris Funeral Home, had a different idea. Harris, who has owned funeral homes in West Bend, Mallard and ...

Humboldt vet clinic expands

HUMBOLDT — The Humboldt Veterinary Clinic is practically unrecognizable these days after an extensive renovation and expansion that was recently completed. Owners of the practice, Dr. Aubrey Cordray and her husband Kevin Cordray decided to make the changes in order to accommodate their ...

Continuing to treat Fort Dodge

The day after Steve Springer, of Fort Dodge, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in March 2020, he shared a brief conversation with his son, Shea Springer, about Snack Shack Treats N Eats. “He told me we need to get the Snack Shack open,” Shea Springer recalled as the two sat and ...

All the rage

The sound of shattering glass or the thud of an old printer being smacked with a baseball bat are commonplace in the basement of New Age Media Productions, 1026 Central Ave. There, customers have the opportunity to take their frustrations out on a variety of items — from windshields to ...

Honing his craft

Maybe it will become a dog or a raccoon. Maybe it will become a Clydesdale horse or even a Tyrannosaurus rex. Every time Gene Van Grevenhof, of Fort Dodge, picks up a piece of wood in his shop, he imagines what that piece could become. And then he creates it. Van Grevenhof has been ...

Born to create

KANSAS CITY — While in high school, Lucy Besch would design shoes for her friends or draw portraits of her classmates for fun. The 2014 Manson Northwest Webster graduate has since translated those creative skills into operating her own business, Lucy Besch Designs, based in Kansas City. ...

Specialty shop on the move

From tumblers to home decor and clothing items, Nins Custom Creations, 1012 Central Ave., offers a unique lineup of specialty goods at its downtown shop. Jennifer Earnest, a native of Arkansas, founded the business in 2016. Her niece Emily Farrer and Rae Roberts customize the items seen ...

A warm, welcoming space

POCAHONTAS -- Robbie Kudla had just entered a contract to purchase a building on Main Street in Pocahontas in early March 2020. She had plans of turning 210 N. Main St. into a local coffee house. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. Instead of giving up or letting the extra challenges get ...

Getting into a routine

Those used to working out on a consistent basis had to explore other ways to meet their fitness needs at certain points during 2020 when gyms were either closed or restricted. Throughout much of March and April of 2020, public gyms had to shut down. About 95% of staff had to be let go ...

Hacienda Vieja on the move

As some tenants move out of Crossroads Mall during ongoing development at the site, at least one business has found a more convenient location inside the mall for the time being. Hacienda Vieja Mexican Restaurant, a tenant at the mall for the past eight years, has moved from the east side ...

PCED announces 2021 Business of the Year

POCAHONTAS—A Pocahontas family grocery business, the owner of several newspapers in the county and a loan officer in Rolfe were honored with awards from the Pocahontas County Economic Development Commission (PCEDC). The award recipients are normally announced at PCEDC’s annual meeting in ...

Paying his bills and having fun

DUNCOMBE — About five years ago, hundreds of bicyclists flooded Stumpy’s Bar and Grill during RAGBRAI, an annual bicycle ride across Iowa. “It was crazy,” recalled Bruce “Stumpy” Wagner, owner of the establishment. “We had breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches. When ...

New dealership opens in Webster City

WEBSTER CITY — A new auto dealership officially opened its doors in Webster City on Wednesday morning. Karl Chevrolet, Buick and GMC in Webster City, formerly Webster City Auto LLC, opened for business Wednesday. The acquisition adds a third franchise dealership in Iowa for Carl Moyer, ...

Growth Alliance adds new board members

The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance has added two new members to its board of directors this year, bringing on Kelly Hindman and Mike McCarville. Hindman has served as VP of Campus Support Services at Friendship Haven for more than three years. A native of Dayton, he previously served ...

SMCH earns 2021 Women’s Choice Award

LAKE CITY — Stewart Memorial Community Hospital recently earned the 2021 Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Obstetrics. This places SMCH among the top 15 percent of hositals considered the best in which to have a baby. About 400 hospitals nationwide met the ...