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So. Minn. Signs moves into former Super Valu building

By Staff | Mar 9, 2009

Southern Minnesota Signs in Winnebago operates out of two locations, but soon the business will be moving into its new building on Main Street.

SMS owner Mike Baumann recently bought the old Super Valu grocery store, which was closed in August 2008. Two connected buildings were also part of the purchase.

For the past several weeks extensive remodeling has been done to the buildings and continues.

“I’ve been looking for a bigger place. Now, we’ll be able to run more printing presses,” says Baumann, adding that his three sites total about 27,000 square feet.

The Super Valu building is the second one Baumann has purchased in the last eight months. Last June, he acquired the store where NAPA auto parts was housed.

The expansion, he says, doesn’t mean he’s going to close the other locations.

However, it will result in more employees being hired.

Baumann anticipates hiring up to 21 for production and four more office personnel, bringing the total number to six.

“We’ll have a total of 13 full-time production workers,” he says. “We are trying to offer jobs to people in town. We’re interested in the community.”

SMS isn’t a new business. It’s been in operation for 24 years.

The business has customers in every state, Europe, Canada and even Australia. There also is a sales office in Toronto.

Baumann says his company’s main customers are other screen printers and sign makers.

“We are the largest screen printer in the state of Minnesota,” he says. “We have twice the volume of the next printer.”

It won’t be long until the production presses are running at full force.

Baumann says that in an eight-hour shift they will be able to produce up to 60,000 T-shirts and sweat shirts.

For the first time, the public will be able to place orders and purchase merchandise in a retail section.

Two open houses will be held once the remodeling is finished. On March 31, business owners will be able to tour the facility from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The public will get their chance on April 1, from 1-4 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

“We should be running at full production by then. It will give people a view of what we do,” he says.