Just a hop skip and a jump
Visitors to downtown Blue Earth have noticed some big changes in the past couple of weeks.
Several businesses have changed locations, remodeled buildings, and even changed names.
Shoppers almost need a printed program to keep up. Where is China Designs and Coxworth Water Conditioning, and what in the world is Innate Wellness Center?
Coxworth Water Conditioning was one of the first to make the move. They left a rented space in the former L & M Motors building and bought the former christian bookstore building across the street from Juba’s Super Valu.
Owner Jeremy Coxworth says it just made sense to get a place of their own.
“It is a bit larger than we really need, but the display area is great,” he adds.
A benefit is that business has really picked up since the move.
“Business was getting better all the time, but it took a big jump after we got in here,” he explains.
Coxworth started his business just 19 months ago, when he quit his job with Schwans Ice Cream and started selling water softeners and salt.
“I literally threw some salt bags in my van and started selling it,” he says. “No way did I think I would be at this point (buying a building) this fast.”
Two of Coxworth’s new business neighbors were China Designs and Artistic Interests, two separate businesses owned by sisters Helen Petersen and Joan Frandle.
No sooner did Coxworth move in, then they moved out.
After having been in the same location for 10 years, they sold the building they shared and did some regrouping.
Petersen moved her business – Artistic Interests – to the building that had been Tunglands, next door to Dr. Sawyer’s dental office.
She renamed it ‘R’ Impressions. China Designs owner Frandle decided to quit the retail business, but still teaches china painting classes two days a week in the ‘R’ Impressions building.
Petersen says she renamed her store because she is getting out of the art supplies end of it, and concentrating on the crafts side.
“The letter ‘R’ can stand for ‘our’, or ‘art’, or ‘rubber,'” she explains. She is concentrating on rubber stamping and the craft of making greeting cards.
She teaches classes in card making, and twice a year holds a rubber stamp camp at the Blue Earth Senior Citizens Center.
Chiropractor Arron Kalis is the person who bought the China Designs building from Petersen and Frandle.
Dr. Kalis remodeled the building and opened his new business, Innate Wellness Center, L.L.C.
Kalis had been a chiropractor for three years at Center for Specialty Care at the Ag Center on Highway 169. Kalis replaced Dr. Jim Hoyt at the center.
In a strange turn of events, Dr. Hoyt had been in private practice with Dr. Terry Cahill in the very same building Kalis is now in.
Ten years ago Hoyt and Cahill sold the building to Petersen and Frandle, and Hoyt eventually went to the Center for Specialty Care.
“It is kind of like coming full circle,” Kalis says. “It was a clinic before, and now it is again.”
Innate Wellness Center opened just two weeks ago, and Kalis says he is surprised at how good it is going so far.
“It was a great first week.” he says.
He also was happy with purchasing the building and says it is a great old building.
“It was very sound, and we just had to freshen it up with some paint and floor covering,” he says.
The upstairs once had apartments, but has been gutted. Eventually Kalis hopes to finish it off as a conference center for his patients.
There is one more strange twist of fate, at least according to Coxworth.
“Arron and I went to Blue Earth Area High at the same time, and now we have businesses on the same block,” he says.
Coxworth adds that Mandy Jahnke was also at BEA at that same time. She recently bought a building in that same block, and is opening a photography business there.
“It is amazing the three of us would buy buildings on the same block at the same time,” Coxworth says. “I guess we should plan to have our grand openings at the same time too.”