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BE EDA hears update on Three Sisters

Board also gives Business Spotlight certificate to Twisted Vine

By Fiona Edberg - Staff Writer | Sep 12, 2021

Blue Earth Economic Development Specialist Amy Schaefer presented Shelley Volz, owner of Twisted Vine Floral, with a Business Spotlight of the Month certificate at an EDA meeting on Thursday, Sept. 9.

The fate of Blue Earth’s Rural Renaissance Project has certainly been a nail-biter. On Thursday, Sept. 9, the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA) board received an update regarding the project’s progress at their regularly scheduled meeting.

Deanna Lahre, who relocated to Blue Earth three years ago to partner with project creator Janie Hanson, explained she hopes construction on the Three Sisters buildings will soon be underway.

Lahre asserted the biggest challenge has been finding and enlisting the necessary labor to complete the project.

“Labor is a problem,” Lahre admitted, “but contractors have been found and are on their way.”

Lahre provided additional updates regarding construction. “HVAC and labor has been paid for and ordered,” she shared. “It should be started any time.”

Lahre went on, “Struggles continue with shipping, but we will manage to get it done.”

Lahre was particularly excited to share the developments of the Lost Saint Brewery of Blue Earth, which she hopes will be opened soon.

“We got the plans redone for the wine bar, and the brew pub together,” Lahre said. “We are ready to start brewing.”

The EDA board expressed concern regarding whether Lahre and Hanson will be able to meet the agreed-upon completion date of Sept. 30.

“We picked up a check two or three weeks ago,” Lahre answered. “We got confirmation, and it’s all on its way,” Lahre said of the building materials.

Lahre concluded, “It’s a great project. I would not have moved here from Kansas City if not. It’s really going to be something.”

She added, “I’m proud to be a three-year resident of Blue Earth, and I’m not going anywhere.”

Another proud business owner in Blue Earth, Shelley Volz, was recognized for the EDA’s chosen Business Spotlight of the Month. Her business, Twisted Vine Floral, has been a colorful staple of Blue Earth for several years.

“I’ve been doing floral all my life,” Volz shared. “My grandma is probably my biggest influence.”

She continued, “I guess I’ve known I wanted to be in a flower shop forever.”

Volz explained she has worked in many different floral shops in the area. “I like to think I took something good from all of those shops and incorporated it into mine,” she said.

Volz’s passion for the floral business is clear. “The best part of my job is when you deliver those flowers, and they’re happy. You see those smiles,” Volz said.

She values customer service and creativity. “A personal touch with a twist; that’s kind of my tag line,” Volz explained.

“My job is also all about presentation,” she added. “I like to have my outside (of the shop) look nice.”

Volz admitted there is one downside to her line of work.

“You do have to work holidays,” Volz said. “The biggest holidays are probably Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. We have an average of 150 deliveries for each of those holidays.”

Despite her lengthy time in the business, Volz is always searching for new inspiration.

“If I feel like I’m boring, and I feel like I’m not doing new things, I’ll go to a design show and get ideas flowing again,” Volz said.

She concluded, “I guess I’ve made my passion my work, and it’s wonderful.”

Other business discussed by the Blue Earth EDA included the following: 

• The resignation of EDA board member Ann Hanna. Hanna’s appointment to the Blue Earth City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 7, necessitated her resignation as two City Council members, Wendy Cole and mayor Rick Scholtes, already sit on the EDA board.

“I totally appreciated the learning experience that this board brings forward,” Hanna said to the board. “I was always proud to be on the EDA. It is fast moving, and makes great decisions.”

Scholtes shared he hopes to have a name to bring forward at the next City Council meeting to fill Hanna’s vacated slot.

• A purchase agreement between the City of Blue Earth and Dana Sickler and Andrew Sickler. The Sicklers wish to purchase a lot at 125 W. Sixth Street for $5,000. They plan to use the land for their business, HeavyLite Trailers, LLC. The EDA voted to approve the purchase agreement and the attached development and lease agreements.