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9 posts categorized "Dover news"

November 10, 2011

Soap shop news bubbling up

I've been in a lather trying to clean up my act lately, but all of the scrubbing around for news has been a wash so far.

1274549204z455UWWord has been floated to me that two home-made soap stores are expected to surface in the area soon.

One is getting ready to make a splash in the Kahler Hotel subway in the Med City's downtown.

The other is preparing to freshen things up in a small community east of Rochester.

I should have more details while the news is still as hot as a fresh bath.

March 21, 2011

Roch.'s Crenlo to get a new president

Crenlotruck One of Rochester's largest manufacturers will soon have a new leader.

Crenlo, which primarily makes cabs for construction and agriculture equipment as well as electronic enclosures under the EMCOR brand at two local facilities, announced Monday that a former executive has been hired as the company's president to replace the retiring President and CEO Lance Fleming.

Dave Kilburn, who worked as Crenlo's chief financial from 2001 to 2008, will report to Fleming  until his planned retirement in the third quarter of this year.
For the past several years, Kilburn has worked as the CFO of Atlas Pacific Engineering Co. in Pueblo, Colo. 6a00d83451cc8269e201287700289a970c-250wi

He and his wife, Cindy, are moving back to Rochester to take this position.

Crenlo currently has about 675 employees in Rochester. For much of its 60 years, the firm was under the control of independent Minnesota owners.

In 1999, Crenlo was acquired as a subsidiary by Illinois-based Dover Corp., a more than $5 billion publicly held multi-national, diversified, manufacturing conglomerate.

November 07, 2010

Going big in Dover

When the Fergusons do something, they do it big.

The couple, who already have a number of businesses in the Dover area including Ferguson Truck and Trailer Sales, super-sized their Road Trip bar by expanding into an adjacent building and adding a full steakhouse restaurant.

Roadtrip Now called Road Trip Roadhouse and Bar, the downtown Dover restaurant is serving up steaks, blackened catfish, stuffed trout along with burgers and other traditional steakhouse menu offerings.

It now seats up to 130 and the bar's staff has been "tremendously expanded" to 26 employees to cover the restaurant.

Why did Sue and Craig Ferguson add such an ambitious project to their already long list of businesses?

"Uh.. Because we're crazy," joked Sue Ferguson.

The real story is that the Fergusons visited Manny's Original Chophouse in Haines City, Fla., and Sue realized its roadhouse decor was very similar to Dover's Road Trip Bar.

"This is more my dream. It is my baby," she says.

Besides the huge amount of work creating the restaurant and its menu, Sue Ferguson says the portion sizes are gigantic.

Options for a prime rib meal range from 12 ounces, 14 ounces and 20 ounces. A full rack of ribs weighs two pounds. Hamburgers come in at a pound or half pound of beef.

And many meals are served with "an endless" bowl of salad.

January 18, 2010

Crenlo, UAW reach tenative contract deal

Here's some from a piece I whipped up about Crenlo's latest contract negotiations.

About 380 workers can vote this week on if they accept a new labor contract with local manufacturer, Crenlo Inc.

Assembly Crenlo CEO Lance Fleming says the company, which makes products such as cabs for construction vehicles and steel frames for construction, reached a tentative agreement last week with the negotiation team of the United Auto Workers Local 2125 union.

"I think it will go this time," says Dave Zebaugh, the president of the UAW local, of the vote slated for Thursday. The current contract will expire Saturday.

In October, the company and the union worked out a tentative deal but union members rejected the deal.

Fleming, too, is optimistic of this pact's passage by workers. "I'm confident it will pass, but I was confident the last one would pass. You never know," says Fleming, who was not part of the negotiations team.

While it seems this contract does include an early financial cut back, Zebaugh says that is recouped as the five-year contract progresses.

He also says this contract features a better health care deal.

"Our biggest concern was that we didn't feel we should have to pay to increase our own health care," he says. 

February 03, 2009

Domino effects hits 68 jobs at Crenlo

In a domino effect, layoffs at big vehicle makers Caterpillar Inc. and John Deere have driven a Rochester manufacturer to layoff 68 workers.

“We’re certainly disappointed that we couldn’t work our way through this with all of our people, but you have to be conservative as you move forward,” says Crenlo President Lance Fleming.


Crenlo is a contract manufacturer that makes products such as cabs from sheet metal, steel frames for construction and agricultural vehicles. It has 670 employees at two facilities in Rochester.

Fleming announced the layoffs at an employee meeting Tuesday. They will take effect Jan. 12.

The action follows last week’s announcement that Crenlo’s two top customers – Caterpillar and John Deere – were laying off 20,000 and 7,000 employees. Crenlo had already been working some four day works to adjust to the slowdown.

“I told the employees, ‘Our order book is down. I told you after two months of short work weeks that we’d do something different if we had to,’” he said.

Affected employees have 18 month recall rights, says Dave Zebaugh, the president of the United Auto Workers Local 2125. He also confirmed reports that 68 workers were effected.

However, the future looks hopeful.

Some contracts for new products slated to start late in the second quarter and into the third quarter of 2009 could bring at least some of those workers back into Crenlo.

“We’re optimistic that some of the people will be called back, because of the new business development coming in,” said Fleming.

How does the union see the action?

“The U.A.W. is standing behind the company. They did it right by  the contract as far as the layoffs,” stated Zebaugh. “They are just doing what they can do to retain as many as they can.”

While unpleasant, the action was not unexpected, he added.

“The writing has been on the wall. He (Fleming) didn’t want to layoff. He didn’t want to resort to this, but if there is no demand, you have to do something, said Zebaugh.

The majority of employees support Fleming and the company in this, because Crenlo “does have a recovery plan in progress.”

The company, owned by the New York-based Dover Corp., did a number of layoffs total more than 200 in 2001. As the economy improved, Crenlo brought many of the employees back on board and the company gained strength.

“We came back then and we should come back from this,” said Zebaugh. 

July 03, 2008

Allegiant, Roch's Vegas airline, showing growth

Allegiant Air, the airline that flies from Rochester to Las Vegas twice a week, says that its passenger growth is taking off, and its planes are full.

The Las Vegas-based airline released its passenger traffic report for June and for the second quarter on Wednesday.

In June, 375,413 passengers flew with the airline, up from 281,977 in June 2007. That’s a 33.1 percent increase.

Allegiant also reported for the second quarter of 2008 that it transported 1.048 million passengers, up from 753,716 in 2007. That’s a 39.2 percent increase.

The “load factor,” or number of available seats filled, was 91.3 percent, up from 86.9 percent in June 2007.
Allegiant began offering two direct flights a week from Rochester International Airport to Las Vegas in April 2007.

January 29, 2008

25 car pile-up = Lots of tow truck business

I just got back from a quick (not really) jaunt to the Dover area, where a 25 vehicle pile-up on Interstate 90 overpass over CR 10 created lots of business for tow trucks.
The crash included an ambulance, a garbage truck, many semi trucks and a Mini Cooper.

No serious injuries, amazingly enough.012808dovercrash2jk

February 08, 2007

Downtown tidbits from RDA

Just went to the annual meeting of the Rochester Downtown Alliance. I'll have a short story for Friday probably, but here are few interesting tidbits worth followup. However I doubt I'll get much detail:

Don Regan will probably tear down the former Eagles/ CarQuest auto parts building for a development.
• Retail, office space and housing to be developed on First Avenue next to Bilotti's - Sandy Keith described it as the 312 building.
Sale of the Iridescent House is slated to close next week. That is to make room for the Biobusiness center project.
• A tenative design of the center could be ready "in the next month or two.
• The work on the first and second floors of the Galleria Mall could be complete by mid-August.
• One of the key spots in that under development part of the mall, maybe all, have tenant/tenants signed up.

June 05, 2006

Jenny's Country Kitchen closed

Here's one of those rare instances where I might have been right. The Web site for Jenny's Country Kitchen, a national gift and gourmet food company in Dover, is currently displaying the following message. I have no idea when it went up:

Jenny's Country Kitchen is currently closed. We can not accept any orders at this time. However, if our products become available in the future, we will notify all current customers, or you can go to this website to get up to date information concerning the state of Jenny's Country Kitchen.

Thank you for your understanding during this time. We apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused you.

Thank You!

Now back on Sept. 6 in 2005, I guessed that an ad in the Post-Bulletin might mean Jenny's was for sale.
It was listed "Business Opportunities" as a "National Gift & Gourmet Company For Sale."

While it did not list the name of business, the description fit Jenny's to a T and the contact e-mail address is at

When I first wrote about Jenny's in spring of 2003, they had six employees. Here's a little bit from a Holly Ebel story that same spring followed by some of the classified listing:

If you were to drive through Dover, you might think that the enormous pole barn at the end of Main Street might hold all sorts of farm equipment, this being farm country. A small sign on the door, however, tells another story: Jenny's Country Kitchen.

Step inside, and you are greeted by displays of gourmet goodies ranging from flavored coffee creamers, to cookie, bread and soup mixes, coffees and all sorts of kitchen items, many bearing the Jenny's Country Kitchen label.

"People are always a little surprised when they come here," said Sue Andring, office manager of this multi-million-dollar business.

In addition to the cozy gift shop, the building houses a modest kitchen where new products are developed and tested, corporate offices and 9,000-square-feet of warehouse space stacked with pallets of products.

The "Jenny" on the label is Jenny Wood, who with her husband, Dan, moved their business from Lincoln, Neb., to Dover in January 2002. Why Dover?

"They looked all over because her family is in the area, and Dover offered them great incentives," Andring said.

What began as a cottage industry in 1991 with Wood selling dessert coffee creamers and bread mixes at local farmers markets and craft fairs has developed into an extensive product line. The dessert creamers come in any number of flavors, including English toffee, cherry vanilla and cookies and cream. There are also flavored cocoas, teas and lemonades.

While some of the drinks come in individual-serving packets, others are in attractive, reusable glass-handled mugs. The mixes are all manufactured in Chicago, then sent to Dover. Among their accounts are hundreds of gift shops and retailers such as Marshall Field, Nordstrom, Marshalls and TJ Maxx. That this all happens from a pole barn in the middle of what used to be a cornfield is a testament to entrepreneurship.