That's Rite…Send in the Maid
It turns out people do read my column and they even use it to make business decisions. Wow. For the record, I accept no liability for any business moves based on something I wrote.
Heard on the Street is for entertainment purposes only. Heh.
That said, I'd guess many people, particularly those from Iowa, will be very interested in the Sanfords' project.
Soon, old-fashioned diner fans will have a new spot in Rochester to order up loose meat hamburgers, sweet potato fries, tenderloins and shakes served with the tin mixing cup full of what wouldn't fit in the glass.
The long-time Iowa icon Maid Rite will soon start heating up the grill and mixing ice cream along South Broadway in Rochester.
Don and Noreen Sanford and their daughter, Reann Blumers, are steaming along with opening a Maid Rite in the new Crossroads Plaza across from the Olmsted County Fairgrounds. The diner will bookend the center opposite the new Walgreens drug store.
The Sanfords have run a Rochester business, Expert Carpet Cleaning, for 33 years. So what made them decide to start edging out of that business and get in on the ground floor of a classic diner franchise?
At least partially, it was this very column, says Don Sanford.
In late December, he was reading the Post-Bulletin and saw that the CEO of the diner chain was looking for someone to open a Maid Rite in Rochester.
"I saw the write up and remembered how much I liked Maid Rite way back when there was one in Rochester," he says. "I turned to my wife and told her we should open a Maid Rite."
The Sanfords are preparing to open their own Maid Rite with about 47 seats, a lunch counter and a drive-through window in a 1,437-square-feet space sometime in May.Since coming up with their plan, they met a Rochester women whose grandmother owned a Maid Rite here 45 years ago. It was along U.S. 14 by Seneca Foods, where Java Detour now stands, Don Sanford says.
Back then it shared a building with a 3.2 tavern and a gas station. Families would fill up with Maid Rite burgers and then the kids could have a shake or sundae while the adults popped into the tavern for a drink.
Barb Phelps Barb Phelps and Leigh Ann Peltoma of Paramark Real Estate Services handled the deal to line up the Maid Rite space.