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15 posts categorized "LeRoy news"

April 17, 2008

Artesian Fresh water + Hy-Vee

Remember the Artesian Fresh water that I wrote about recently being bottled near LeRoy?
Well, Jerry at Hy-Vee South says his store, along the other two Rochester, will have some on the shelves next week sometime.

The plan is to carry 24 packs of the 16.9 ounce bottles and the 9 ounce bottles as well one gallon bottles.

So everyone who said they'd like to try this water out will have a place in Rochester to buy it.

April 07, 2008

LeRoy farm = National water bottler

Sometimes an opportunity hits you like a wave.

Or, as in the case of Ben and Diane Nolt, it hits like a gusher.

While drilling a well for their new rural Fillmore County home near LeRoy, the couple tapped something 400 feet below their land that washed away plans of semi-retirement.

Now three years after hitting an artesian spring, “pumping hundreds of gallons a minute,” a 21,000-square-foot bottling facility stands by the well with a sign that says “Artesian Fresh” in front.

After 38 years working in agriculture, why did the couple decide to dive into the bottled water industry?

“Everybody that tasted the water said, ‘You should bottle and sell this,” explains Ben Nolt.

The first step was having the water from the spring tested. It came up with a pH balance of 7. That means the water has no acidity or alkalinity.

Next the Minnesota Health Department checked the well and it was fine for bottling. Next the couple did lots of research about the possibility.

Was there any fear that the well might run dry?

“Not in our lifetime” was ruling by experts that inspected the well.

By April 2007, the Nolts decided to take the plunge and start a water company.

Now they are just waiting on a final examination by the United States Department of Agriculture.
“We hope to start bottling within a week,” said Ben Nolt, standing next to a machine set to package cartons of water-filled bottles with either the Artesian Fresh label or a private label for a customer.

The private label water business is aimed at companies like IBM or Mayo Clinic that could offer water bottles with their own logos on them. It could also be done for a special event like a festival, wedding or business celebration.

“We already have a one million bottle order from Omaha, Neb.,” says Nolt.

While the private label business might be more profitable, expect the majority of the 6,000 bottles a day to end up on retail shelves or office water coolers with Artesian Fresh labels. They hope to have the bottles in area stores such as in Harmony, Spring Valley and Rochester.

February 28, 2008

The rise of The Kingdom…Buffet

It looks like the Kingdom Buffet is moving closer toward opening in the River Center Plaza in northwest Rochester.

On Monday, a temporary banner was draped on the mall sign saying it is coming soon.

By Tuesday, a permanent addition to the sign was up.

The cardboard boxes are still on the outside statues and Chinese newspapers still cover the windows, but it seems to be moving forward.

The owners of the Hunan Garden restaurant are behind this project, which will be a second location for them. They have lined up 8,000-square-feet in two empty storefronts.

This means all of the spaces in the strip starting with Fiesta and ending with Jimmy Jam's are full.

Of course, the former Western Digital and NRI space as well as the condemned movie theater space are still sitting empty.

August 20, 2007

LeRoy biz + Blooming Prairie

Word is that WB Enterprises Inc., which builds things like wireless towers is picking up stakes in LeRoy and moving to Blooming Prairie.

That's about 30 jobs.

WB's new building is under construction.

I'll have mor eon this soon.

July 03, 2007

First State bank pres resigns

Here's some from a piece I have in the July 4th issue:

First State Bank Minnesota in LeRoy is under new leadership this week after its president abruptly resigned.

Bank President Gerald Payne resigned Friday. He did not return messages Tuesday asking for comment.

“Everything is confidential at this point” in regards to the resignation, says Polly Glynn, the interim bank president. “Everything will come out eventually.”

In the mean, Glynn stressed that the bank’s finances are secure and the facility is still running smoothly.

“Our mission has not changed. The only thing that has changed is that Gerald Payne is not at his desk,” she said.

First State, which has 20 employees in LeRoy and at a Spring Valley branch, has assets totaling $52 million.