F/X Fusion & Graif Clothing

Neck ties are how Randy Appel made his mark in the apparel world. Family ties, though, make up the fabric of his being. “I do all of this for the family,” reflects Appel, as he looks around at the rows and rows of ties, shirts and sweaters that will soon be shipped out to destinations all around the world from his 12,000sf distribution center in North Mankato. Appel owns F/X Fusion, an international apparel designer, manufacturer and distributor.

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Tom Fallenstein, CEO of Fun.com

The Fallenstein family turns their obsession with Halloween from a hobby into a business. The scene opens with mom, a seamstress named Jenice, sewing costumes and her three daughters, Julie, Lisa and Heather, renting them out from the family garage. Then the youngest sibling, Tom, starts getting involved with the business called Costumes Galore. It is a huge seasonal success in the region. Tom coming of age just as a somewhat futuristic tool known as the world wide web starts to emerge.

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Kitchenmaster, Klooster & Begalka, CPAs

Jill Klooster and Kelly Begalka in October 2013 bought in as majority owners with what had been called Kitchenmaster & Co. Klooster joked in a telephone interview, “We’ve saved the Kitchenmaster name because of Bob’s (Kitchenmaster) longevity in this area, and have added our own names to let people know we don’t have anything to do with kitchen remodeling or appliances.”

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Mankato Independent Originals

Lightly run fingertips over the adjective-laden menu at swank Number 4 American Bar & Kitchen inside downtown Mankato’s art deco Landkamer Building and you might first discover the creative “Nicoise” salad, which features pan seared Yellowfin tuna, herbed fingerling potatoes, haricot verts, hard cooked eggs, kalamata olives, mixed greens, and lemon thyme vinaigrette.

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