Fairmont: Granada Getaway, Granada
“We opened April 5, 2008,” said 49-year-old owner Deb Kelly in a Connect Business Magazine telephone interview. She was referring to Granada Getaway, a scrap-booking and quilting retreat center in Granada, Minn., east of Fairmont.
Kelly also owns Picture This! Scrap That! in Fairmont. Last September, she and her husband were driving through Granada and made a mental note of a beautiful church building for sale. The two had talked about starting a scrapbooking retreat center, but had never found the right place. Her area of southern Minnesota didn’t have one.
She said, “On the way back through Granada, we noticed a sign saying the church would have a special meeting that Wednesday because someone had put an offer on the place. I called a Realtor and got a walk-through.” The Kellys won the bid and purchased Granada Congregational Church. It had “so much character,” said Kelly, including tall ceilings, large windows, a huge kitchen, and wide-open areas. “It was just perfect.”
Today, Granada Getaway has been customized to please both scrapbookers and quilters. A typical $99 stay lasts Friday through Sunday. For quilters, the retreat has all-new electrical connections to accommodate computerized sewing machines, cork around the room for quilters to hang flannel pieces, and higher cutting tables to maximize customer comfort. Scrapbookers have die cuts and a cricut machine. “Quilting and scrapbooking have a lot in common and many people do both,” she said. “It’s like the old quilting bee. Women get together to talk and socialize.”
Granada Getaway has a large living room to watch movies or read. Added Kelly, “It’s a fun weekend to get away and relax, from the minute you drive up to the minute you leave.” The facility can house up to 14 guests. Guests must bring their own food.
Contact: www.granadagetaway.net Telephone: 507-235-3505.
St. Peter: Richard’s Restaurant And Pub
Speech language pathologist Joan Olson opened Richards’ Restaurant and Pub in April 2008—along with a connected five-room, luxurious boutique hotel. She named the restaurant after her father and began the business because “I’m not a good cook and I love to eat and enjoy a great ambiance,” said 61-year-old Olson in a telephone interview.
A great many people in St. Peter yearned for fine cuisine, she said, and the perfect spot for it was a 1900s-era building on South Third. The project really came together when Olson discovered Emily Streeter, who had managed a French restaurant in downtown Minneapolis and later owned another restaurant. Streeter was ready for a change in scenery.
“Emily is a phenomenal chef who can take anything and turn it into something sumptuous,” said Olson. “She is really focused and professional, and has a good reputation.” Besides Streeter in the kitchen, Olson has her son Eric managing the front end.
As for her favorite meal, she said, “That’s a tough one, but I really love the grilled salmon. Oh, there are so many wonderful items on the menu. Emily serves a wonderful five-spice pan-seared duck as well. The menu does change and evolve.”
Besides the restaurant, Olson owns the boutique hotel upstairs, which features Carl Larsson prints and other accessories marking the city’s Swedish heritage. The hotel differs from a bed & breakfast in that its owner doesn’t live there or serve breakfast—only lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.
Contact richardsrestaurantandpub.com Location: 408 South Third Street. Telephone: 507-934-4988.
St. Peter: Nate’s Barber Shop
From an early age, Nathan Paschke was interested in the latest clothing, hairstyles, and fashion. “Originally I thought about going to school to be a beautician,” said 32-year-old Paschke in a telephone interview. “Then when in eighth grade, I went to a career day at Gustavus Adolphus College. I took one of the cosmetology classes and was the only guy. I felt uncomfortable.”
He graduated from high school in Blue Earth, his father’s hometown. At age 20, he married and with his wife began a home cleaning business. Eight years later, only four years ago, something special happened. “My barber in Blue Earth, Craig Huntington, talked me into going to barber school,” he said.
After selling his Blue Earth home, and moving closer to the Cities, Paschke went to barber school. Upon graduation, he worked first at Dick’s Sports Barbers in Eden Prairie and then at Dan’s Barber Shop—an excellent Mankato barbershop, he said. Finally in 2007, he began Nate’s Barber Shop in St. Peter.
He said, “As a barber, I like the satisfaction of making someone’s wild hairdo coming in look good going out. Often a guy looks very bushman, and by the time I get done he’s presentable, happy, and his wife is happy.” Though a barber, Paschke does have a few female customers who prefer a barber’s style of cutting.
What makes his barbershop different? “Many barbers no longer use the razor to shave around the ears, but that is something I learned at Dan’s Barber Shop,” he said. “Some states don’t allow it anymore, but if you practice the correct sterilization it’s actually very safe and healthy. I have ‘hot shaves’ that consist of hot towels, lather, and a straight-edged shave. We can even play a Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin record when you get your hot shave.”
Telephone: 507-931-1904. Location: 222 1/2 South Minnesota, beneath Erbert and Gerbert’s.