Paul Wilke

Paul Wilke, 38, wouldn’t want to be called the “King of Mankato Retail.” He would feel the title carried a connotation of him as the inflexible tyrant, the arrogant king of the Mankato hilltop, le roi le veut and therefore it must be so. Rather he would say – no, insist – that he’s only the humble gatekeeper who shepherds others along the retail journey so they can become retail kings themselves.

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Big Gain, Inc.

Mark Hinton and Elton Klaustermeier stretch their definition of “customer service” miles beyond smiles. To them, the term means much more than common courtesy or on-time delivery.

Perhaps that’s why the “broken-down mill” they bought in 1973 survived to thrive as Big Gain, Inc., a major regional manufacturer of livestock and poultry feeds. Today Big Gain’s more than 100 employees formulate, manufacture, sell and deliver feed to dealers and beef, swine, dairy, sheep and poultry producers in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and South Dakota.

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