Business in 2020

A look back at what closed, opened and expanded in FD area

-Submitted image
This image shows what the area that now contains the Crossroads Mall could look like with residential, business and retail buildings. This view looks from the northeast corner to the southwest corner of the current Crossroads Mall.

2020 saw the closing of multiple businesses in the Fort Dodge area. But 2020 was also a year of new beginnings for other businesses. Meanwhile, other businesses announced major expansions. Here are some of the highlights:

Schuur becomes co-owner at Coldwell Banker

In January, Keenan Schuur, who has been an agent at Coldwell Banker Associated Realtors for five years, joined Troy Anderson as co-owner of the Fort Dodge brokerage.

Schuur, a 2007 St. Edmond High School graduate, obtained his broker’s license about two year ago. He became a co-owner on Jan. 2, 2020.

Optic Ink on the move

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Angela Croonquist, owner of Salon Central, poses in her freshly remodeled shop. Croonquist, who has been a hair stylist for 29 years, open her new business on Aug. 3.

Optic Ink, a screen print and vinyl sign shop, moved to a new location at 1210 First Ave. N. in February.

Josh Mason, of Fort Dodge, is the owner. Tim Mapel, Chris Staley and Maddie Lind operate the shop.

Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites has new owners

The hotel at 1518 Third Ave. N.W., which has been a fixture in Fort Dodge since the1960s, was purchased by Crossroads Partners LLC, a locally-owned private investment group.

The group purchased the property from A & B of Iowa. Inc. for $2,775,000 in a deal that closed Jan. 31, according to online records of the Webster County Assessor’s office.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to carry on the legacy of this property,” said Matt Johnson, a spokesman for the new ownership group.

Hummingbird Confections finds home in Callender

CALLENDER — In March, Kaitlyn Stewart moved her bakery to the main street of Callender.

She first opened Hummingbird Confections in 2012.

From cookies to cupcakes, Stewart offers a variety of sweet treats.

Next Edge Performance

Next Edge Performance, a health club, opened in May of 2020.

Owned by Justin Faiferlick, the business is located at 2419 Fifth Ave. S., Suite A. His daughter, Kelsey Felch is the general manager.

Cryotherapy, infrared sauna and a fitness pod are among the services offered.

Casablanca opens under new ownership

Jim Nicola and Paige Pettit reopened Casablanca Steakhouse at the Quality Inn, 2001 U.S. Highway 169.

The two met while working together at Eiler’s Steakhouse. Nicola has worked primarily as a cook and manager. Pettit has worked as a server.

When Eiler’s establishment closed in March of 2018, they took their talents to Casablanca Steakhouse on South 25th Street.

Nicola managed the restaurant along with Gregg Harris. But after a little over a year, the building at 140 S. 25th St caught fire and never recovered.

In March, Alfonso Galvan, who had owned Casablanca handed over the keys to Nicola and Pettit.

Salon Central moves into Snell

Salon Central, owned by Angela Croonquist, opened Aug. 3 at the Snell Building.

Prior to being remodeled, the salon was home to a law office.

Croonquist has been a hair stylist for 29 years.

Family Video closes FD store

Family Video, the last video retail chain the U.S., announced the closure of its Fort Dodge store in September.

According to District Manager Matt Rose, COVID-19 was the driving force that led to a drop in sales.

Since that time, Family Video has announced all of its remaining stores will close.

Crossroads Mall tenants announce closures

As demolition of Crossroads Mall got underway in 2020, multiple stores announced they would be closing permanently.

Among them are: Carolyn’s Hallmark Shop, Rue21 and Dunham’s. Hunan King announced it would close on Jan. 18 of this month.

Meanwhile, the new owners of the mall site, Crossroads Plaza Development LLC, of Ankeny, are moving forward with its development plans.

UnityPoint Health — Fort Dodge Express clinic and Discount Tire Co. are two additions to the site that are being built.

Wheelchair Dynamics opens in FD

Wheelchair Dynamics, a mobility equipment supplier, opened shop in Fort Dodge in October.

The business, 1406 A St. West, opened its Fort Dodge store in June.

Rollators, wheelchairs, lift chairs, stair lifts and wheelchair accessible vehicles are sold there.

Scooter’s opens drive-thru in FD

In October, Scooter’s Coffee opened a drive-thru in Fort Dodge.

Scooter’s is best known for its convenient drive-thru specialty coffee and baked-from-scratch pastries.

The Fort Dodge location is owned by Blake and Lindsey Jochim.

New owner of Bloomers on Central is FD graduate

Rebecca Reitmeier reopened Bloomers on Central.

Reitmeier, a 1998 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate, returned to Fort Dodge in recent years. She took ownership of the business in August.

Office Max closes

Office Max, 2950 Fifth Ave. S., closed permanently in November of 2020.

The office supply chain’s local store began liquidating its merchandise on Sept. 17, with current sales ranging from 5% to 40% off regular prices.

Earlier in 2020, Office Depot, the parent company of OfficeMax, announced it would close 90 locations by 2021, in addition to the 55 that have shuttered over the last year. In 2019, business media outlets reported that CEO Joe Lower told investors that the company’s stores might account for only 20% of all sales within three years.

In May, reports from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings indicated that Office Depot’s restructuring plan would ultimately lay off about 13,000 employees by 2023 as the company realigns its focus to a business to business model.

Koch Nitrogen announces expansion

Koch Fertilizer announced in November a $140 million investment in its ammonia plant east of Fort Dodge.

Company officials said Koch intends to increase production capacity at the plant, 3162 200th St., Duncombe.

The upgrades will boost yearly production by 85,000 tons, the company reported.

Arndt’s Auto and Diesel repair opens in FD

Ajae Arndt opened an auto repair shop at the close of 2020.

He, his wife, Kylee; and Earl Clough operate the business, located at 605 S. 22nd St., Suite C.

Ajae Arndt said he decided opened the repair business after Fort Dodge Motors closed in October 2020.


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