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3 posts categorized "Spring Grove news"

January 10, 2011

Spring Grove Soda pops onto West Coast shelves


Here's some from my weekend column and a goofy Web teaser video I did on a busy street corner about Spring Grove Pop, a local favorite of soda sippers.

What's your favorite Spring Grove flavor? Do you drink it straight or use it as a mixer with a more adult beverage?


Things are popping this year in Spring Grove as the town's 116-year-old soda maker is hitting the big time on the West Coast.

Strawberry The tiny Spring Grove Soda Pop company loaded up 31,104 glass bottles, or 1,296 cases, onto a truck right before Christmas and sent the shipment to a distributor in California.

  OrangeBottle "That's the largest shipment we've ever sent out, and we've never went that far before," says Spring Grove co-owner and sole full-time employee Dawn Hansen.

In fact, the big order from Garvey Nut & Candy in Pico Rivera, Calif., meant a lot of extra hours and work to bottle it up in addition to filling the company's regular orders.

  But Hansen and her husband, Robert Hansen, aren't complaining. It was a great way to end the year, which was the soda maker's biggest ever, with 18,000 cases of its cane sugar-flavored strawberry, cream soda, creamy orange, grape, lemon sour, root beer and black cherry drinks sold.

The Hansens bought the historic bottler in 2003.

"It is looking better each year. It is growing," says Dawn Hansen.

  And now the small-town soda is hitting the streets of L.A. and Las Vegas. Garvey Nut is putting it on the shelves of the hot nostalgia soda and candy shop chain Rocket Fizz Soda Pop Shop. The rapidly growing Rocket Fizz s  pecializes in old-fashioned sweets and classic, glass-bottled soda. It has 13 stores, mostly on the West Coast, but it is expanding toward the Midwest.

Mark Rollins, the soda guy for the Garvey d Rocketfizz logo istribution company, says he has been watching Spring Grove for a while. When he stepped into the role of buying for Rocket Fizz, Rollins says, he knew it was time to give the Minnesota soda company a try.

"I keep an eye out for unique beverages that have never had exposure on the West Coast," he says.

As he was helping unload the Spring Grove shipment, Rollins says, his instinct was confirmed.

"I got a call on my cell from the warehouse, where we sell directly to customers. They said somebody had shown up there looking to buy some," he says. "I guess the word had gotten out to the Minnesota fans that Spring Grove was coming to the West Coast."

Rollins says he'll probably be ordering another truckload soon to keep Rocket Fizz stocked.

If that becomes a regular deal, this kind of buzz could keep business bubbling at Spring Grove Soda Pop.

With sugar prices skyrocketing, that's good news for the Hansens.

"It is looking like it is turning around," she says.


June 29, 2010

Merchants Bank picks up Spring Grove bank

Here's a little from a press release that just popped into my e-mail box. Looks like Winona-based Merchants Bank is expanding its reach some in southeastern Minnesota.

Merchants Bank has reached an agreement to purchase the current Central Bank in Spring Grove, according to Merchants Financial Group, Inc., President and CEO Richard L. Mahoney and Central Bank President Larry Albert.

 The sale will include more than $22 million in deposit relationships and the physical locations of the bank in Spring Grove.


Through an agreement with the FDIC, Central Bank had assumed all the deposits of Jennings State Bank and its two locations in Spring Grove and Stillwater in early October of 2009. Central Bank is headquartered in Stillwater.

LogoThe sale is pending regulatory approval. Barring complications, Mahoney said he expects the sale to be completed in late Fall. Terms of the sale have not been disclosed. Merchants Financial Group, Inc., has about $1.1 billion in assets and is the holding company that owns Merchants Bank.

When the sale is complete, Spring Grove will become the Bank’s 18th location.

June 24, 2009

Spring Grove eatery to re-open

Here's a tidbit I noticed in the Spring Grove Herald written by Marlene Deschler:

Soon the taste buds of Spring Grove will again be tempted with homemade foods at the new Temptations at 131 W. Main St. in downtown Spring Grove.
Jimi Bajrami and his fiancée Brittany Pistono plan to open their restaurant in the Temptations building in early July. They are planning a full lunch and dinner menu with a wide variety of items.

"We are really excited about the food we have to offer the people of Spring Grove and the area," remarked Pistono. "We make a lot of homemade items from gravies to soups to beer-breaded appetizers; a lot of time goes into the food we prepare."

At this time, Temptations will not be open for breakfast; however, they will have breakfast options on their menu that will be available all day. 

The couple will be serving sandwiches, pork tenderloins, beer-breaded cauliflower and mushrooms, soups, steaks, and pastas, as well as many other items in their family-friendly restaurant.