Connect Business Magazine

Since 1994: The Magazine for Growing Businesses in Southern Minnesota

Archives for the ‘Feature Story’ Category

The Refinery

Jul 2018 • Category: Feature Story

It’s being dubbed a “Retail Apocalypse”. The term refers to the closing of a large number of North American, large chain, brick-and-mortar retail stores. The trend started in 2010 and shows no sign of slowing in 2018. “As I look at these large retailers and department stores struggling, I feel as though so much of it comes from losing touch with their customers and worrying more about the statistics,” says Ashleigh Moelter.



Spring Touch Lawn & Pest Control

Jul 2018 • Category: Feature Story

When Marv Kottke started mowing lawns 45 years ago, he didn’t imagine his customer base would eventually grow from two dozen to 12,000. He didn’t imagine he’d possess the help of more than 60 employees. He didn’t imagine running a fleet of 35 trucks, each with Spring Touch Lawn & Pest Control emblazoned on the side and equipped with tablets and printers. He didn’t imagine having anyone besides his parents to answer the phones, much less a call center with half a dozen employees doing only that.



Kato Ballroom

May 2018 • Category: Connect TV, Feature Story

Just 10 blocks from the heart of Mankato’s Old Town district, the Kato Ballroom is nestled in the thick of an industrial zone, just off of bustling Riverfront Drive. But, you likely already know the spot. If you’ve lived in the greater Mankato area for any amount of time, you’ve probably been there yourself. Or at least heard tales of its whirling, dancing nights.



The Silhouette

May 2018 • Category: Connect TV, Feature Story

The U.S. wedding industry hit the $72 billion revenue mark in 2016. Good news for the 300,000-plus wedding vendors operating in the United States. That industry’s far reaching impact could even be felt in the small southern Minnesota town of Easton. Population 199.  



Medieval Metalwerx

Mar 2018 • Category: Connect TV, Feature Story

Growing up in a racing family in Mapleton, it was weird for Jesse Olson if he wasn’t spending a weekend at the track. Whether it was him, his brother, his dad or his mom, someone was always competing. However, he was just as excited about gunning it down the tracks in Arlington and Fairmont as he was about fiddling with his car’s throttle or suspension at home.



St. Peter Lumber Company

Mar 2018 • Category: Feature Story

Chad DeBlieck grew up around the lumber yard. He didn’t really know it then, but watching his dad manage the operations of Standard Lumber was giving him tools he didn’t even know he would want or need. But that he now knows, helped get him where he is today.

DeBlieck’s father managed the yard in St. Peter for almost two decades, before purchasing it in 1988 and changing the name to St. Peter Lumber Company. And that started a new history for a new family-owned business. As his father eventually sold the business to him in 2011.