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18 posts categorized "Chatfield news"

June 24, 2011

Halcyon days at Halcon

I think it is really interesting that a significant percentage of the highest end furniture in big corporate offices on both coasts and everywhere else was made in Olmsted County.

Two of the top competitors in that niche are based right here - Tuohy in Chatfield and Halcon in Stewartville.

I wrote about a new product line from Tuohy in Thursdays column and today I followed that with a piece about Halcon winning a top industry award and expanding its Stewartville plant.

The slow bounce back of the corporate office market is good for both of those companies and for two local communities.

Here's some from my piece today on Halcon. The full deal is in today's print edition.

------------------

These are sunny days, even halcyon days, at Halcon in Stewartville.

As the high-end office furniture maker gears up for an expansion to accommodate its growth, its new product line won top honors at the industry's most prestigious show.

Earlier this month, Halcon's new Motus Collection of transformable executive tables, cabinet and accessories won the Best of Competition Award at NeoCon World’s Trade Fair 2011.

Motus table "It is a really big achievement," says Executive Vice President Ben Conway.

 The conference, the largest of its kind in the United States, is where companies such as Steelcase and Herman Miller show off their new office furniture designs.

"It's where everybody goes to compete," he says. "We're just this small company in Stewartville competing against billion-dollar corporations."

Halconmotus1 Halcon's new Motus Collection was named the best out of all of the 325 new products on display at the show.
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These awards put the cherry on the top of what Conway describes as "a huge rebound year" for Halcon.

After picking up many new contracts, the manufacturer plans to add to its workforce of more than 200 people.

And Halcon is about ready to break ground on a new 12,000-square-foot expansion expected to be finished by October.

January 31, 2011

Kappers' farm squeaking out fresh cheese curds

Here's some from my column in the weekend edition about an area dairy farm adding cheese curds to fresh milk products it already offers.

The rest of this cheesey tidbit is posted here.

Shapeimage_2 If you listen closely, you might hear some faint squeaks coming from the direction of Chatfield and the Kappers' Big Red Barn dairy farm.

And its not coming from mice as one young visitor thought.

After years of bottling and selling fresh milk in glass bottles, Bob and Jeanette Kappers have added fresh cheese curds to their offerings.

"It has always been on our mind to do it, but it has taken awhile to get it right," says Jeanette Kappers. "It is more an art than a science."

Judging by the reactions of people gathered to donate blood at the Chatfield United Methodist Church last week, it sounds like they have figured out the knack of turning milk from their more than 35 cows into curds that squeak when you bite into them. A friend of the Kappers bought a batch of curds and gave an ounce to each donor to try.

"Everyone kept asking how they could get more of those curds," says Kappers.

Right now the only place to do that is at the Kappers’ Big Red Barn store on their farm on Fillmore County Road 5, less than a mile from Chatfield.

October 23, 2008

Tuohy Furniture pays $21,000 pollution fine

This just rolled off the fax machine. It seems the government and funeral homes are the only ones that still send faxes instead e-mail.
Anyway, Tuohy Furnituure Corp. in Chatfield has paid a $21,000 civil penalty to the Minn. Pollution Control Agency for alleged air-quality violations.

It looks like Tuohy did not tell MPCA that the company was installing two paint booths and some new woodworking equipment. That needs a change to their air-emissions permit, evidently.

In addition, MPCA says Tuohy "provided misleading information" and "had not acted in good faith in its dealings with the agency."

I'll check on this.

May 15, 2008

Walls falling at Crossroads/Walgreens - what about O'Reilly's?

Demolition is crunching along at Crossroads Plaza, soon-to-be Walgreens Plaza across from the Olmsted County Fairgrounds, along south Broadway.
051508crossroadsdemowalgreensjk

My question – and I think the questions other folks have – is when is O'Reilly's Auto Parts store going to close? And is it going to be part of the new incarnation of the Walgreens Plaza?

I have talked to a couple of folks at O'Reilly's corporate office and no answers have come back yet.

I realize they are busy with the Checkers deal and all, but it would be great to fill in those blanks.

November 29, 2007

Sign businesses deal =…?

Many of the people guessing about the upcoming marriage of two Rochester sign businesses were right.
112907bbsignjk

B&B Sign & Graphics is joining forces with Magnum Graphix, which recently moved to Rochester.
Magnum_graphix

I'll have more on this soon.

October 18, 2007

Sign business to move

Look for a sign business to move its Rochester operation in the near future.

And I should have more on this also in the near future.

September 05, 2007

Magnum Graphix

It sounds like Mangum Graphix is on its way to Rochester.
Magnum_graphix
The Chatfield business has really picked up this year and the majority of its customers are in Rochester. So they are moving to a larger space in Rochester.

Earlier this summer Mangum Graphix and Mangum Sports split into two separate companies. Mangum Sports will stay in Chatfield.

Geoff Heppding owns Mangum Graphix.

I'll have more on this in print Monday.

May 06, 2007

Chatfield growing biz =......?

The Chatfield business that is on the grow is Strongwell Corp. Of course, many of the blog readers figured that out already.

Here's a little from one of the stories that will be in print Monday:
Strongwell

A new sign outside of Chatfield may signal more growth for a company that is already booming.

Mike Jaszewski, plant manager for Strongwell Corp., made it himself and he see it as an example of how the longtime manufacturer is moving into new markets with new fiberglass-reinforced products.

“We’re not just industrial fences and handrail systems,” he says.

The Chatfield facility, which is part of a Bristol, Va.-based company, has long been known for making things like tool handles, walkways for oil rigs and industrial fences using a process called pultrusion.

Now it has added products like a decorative handrail system designed to be used at high-end hotels, restaurants and homes. Jaszewski used some of the equipment from that line to create the company’s new sign.

“It looks like wrought iron, but will never rust. The opportunities are tremendous,” he said.

It is also adding a product line to used in marinas and with docks after just fully moving into the bridge market last year with a structural deck system. It took about five years of development in the Chatfield division to create that line. Staff in the Chatfield plant along U.S. 52 engineer, manufacture and market products.

Overall business is up about 18 percent over last year and earnings are about 57 percent. The plant has added 20 employees to its more than 180 person staff since January. One unit switched on Sunday to a 24 hour, seven days a week production schedule from its former five day shift schedule.

May 03, 2007

Chatfield business booming

Talk about a growth burst. One Chatfield area company really has a lot going on,

Year-over-year business growth levels around 15 to 20 percent. The addition of many jobs so far this year. Expanding into whole new markets with locally developed product lines. And the possibility of needing to physically expand before the end of the year.

Those are all characteristics that any Rochester or Twin Cities companies would love to have. But all of this is in Chatfield.

All of that added together had me driving to Chatfield Tuesday. You'll see what I found (and the identity of the business) in print on Monday.

January 31, 2007

Chatfield salon + new owner

Here'a quick piece I lifted form the Chatfield News:

Melissa Ploetz is the new owner of Shear Class Hair Design in Chatfield. She has moved it to 257 N. Main Street on Jan. 8 from at 920 Grand St. S.E. in Chatfield.

She bought it from Jean Easler. It has three stylists on staff beside Ploetz.

By the way, Ploetz was training at the Rochester School of Cosmetology, now know as the Rochester School of Hair Design. Of course, it recently got a new owner and location, too.