Railway Bar & Grill, The Splendid Nest, European Antiques

Sleepy Eye: Railway Bar & Grill – Dan and Sue Helget had their open house for Railway Bar & Grill at 300 First Avenue North about a year ago.

New Ulm: The Splendid Nest – Kathleen Connell recently opened The Splendid Nest at 210 North Minnesota in the former Grand Hotel.

New Ulm: European Antiques – Aini Isaksson was born in Hosko, Finland, and early on with her parents moved to Sweden. In time, she owned a cleaning business there.

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Enterprise Minnesota, Uniquely Yours, Studio 34 Fitness

Mankato: Enterprise Minnesota – Enterprise Minnesota (formerly Minnesota Technology) opened a Mankato office in February 2008 staffed by 44-year-old Greg Thomas.

Sleepy Eye: Uniquely Yours – Diane Mullins came to Sleepy Eye looking for love, and the town hasn’t disappointed her.

Sleepy Eye: Studio 34 Fitness – Most people in Sleepy Eye know of 47-year-old Brent Mielke as “The Zoo Man.” Over the last 20 years, he has performed live in front of more than five million people in the U.S. and Canada,

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Braun & Borth

He’d roll up his sleeves if he had any.

Mike Braun, who often goes sleeveless in summer, and his partner Brian Borth both work shifts hauling garbage and “recyclables” over the streets of Sleepy Eye and Springfield. It’s not a job for pansies. The intense heat off fresh tar can almost melt shoe soles, a whiff of rotting fish can be “most interesting,” says Braun, and the only air conditioning in either of their two facilities is an open window in the break room of their recycling center.

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Haala Industries

Eight magic words give job applicants an edge anywhere in Brown County. All they need to say is “I grew up on a farm near Leavenworth.” To prospective employers, that short sentence means an applicant understands order, discipline and hard work.

Leavenworth is a tiny settlement southwest of Sleepy Eye with a few houses and a large Catholic church, the Church of the Japanese Martyrs. Big families from small farms make up most of the congregation.

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