HUMBOLDT - As Humboldt prepares to observe its 150th birthday this year, it has more than just its founding to celebrate.
'We're going to be celebrating with different things for the rest of the year," said Susan Rutz, Humboldt Chamber of Commerce and recreation director.
In the past year, the town has started moving ground for a new industrial park along U.S. Highway 169 on the city's north side and the Eagle Ridge Development, a new housing addition development on the city's southwest side.
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson-Jenson
Deb Davis shows some of the fully prepared microwave ready entrees available at her business, Sister’s Homestyle Entrees, in Humboldt. Davis business provides nutritionally ready to heat meals for purchase and can also ship around the state.
"We have a new housing development going in," said Rutz.
Rachel Reinholdt, Humboldt economic development director, said the first nine of up to 43 lots were auctioned in 2012, with homes slated to be built over the course of the next few years.
"It's a five-year development,"said Reinholdt. "The buyers have five years to develop the land; all of the first nine lots will have homes on them in five years."
A second block of 13 lots is expected to go to auction this spring.
A portion of the development to the north and east may become a park or trail in future years.
Rutz said the Chamber plans to continue several events the community enjoys that also brings people to town.
"We'll be doing the Fourth of July, Downtown Sounds, the Christmas parade, a Halloween party, a chili cook-off and Humboldt Idol. We are working on getting a battle of the bands event set up at Rustix," said Rutz. "We like to always have something going on."
Still in the planning stages, the community will be celebrating its sesquicentennial this year.
"We are just getting started on the 150th celebration, but we plan to have that in conjunction with the Fourth of July,"she said.
The Humboldt business district as also remained strong, with several new or expanded businesses.
"The Pamida just became Shopko in November," Rutz said. "Bomgaars will be taking over the Shoppers Supply this year. We're not losing stores, but these have become bigger and better with the changes."
A consignment shop, hair and nail salon and a specialty shop, Sister's Homestyle Entrees, have opened and seen success in their first year.
"We have a great year," said Deb Davis, owner of Sister's Homestyle Entrees.
Davis' unique business prepares individual and family-sized frozen meals which can be ordered online and shipped to anywhere in Iowa.
"All of our entrees are made here," said Davis. "We're covering the whole state of Iowa now. We will hand-deliver meals within 50 miles of here and we ship out orders across the state with SpeeDee."
What started as a desire to simply start a small business of her own, Davis' service has grown beyond what she had dreamed.
"In one year I went from just me to having a crew of 12 employees," she said. "We've done a remodel and expansion with new freezers. We're small, but still, we have grown so much."
Davis' online menus have allowed her business to grow, helping those who can not cook for themselves, and also offering ready to cook meals to go at the store.
"We get online orders from all over," said Davis. "I had a girl order from the Philippines. Her mom was ill back home and she thought it would be a great way to help her mother out while she was so far away."
Davis said her meals are also available through elderly and handicap meal wavier. The business also offers a selection of Iowa wines and honeys.
"It's these little businesses that make American business," said Davis.