Community volunteer firefighters sprang into action, fighting to contain the blaze under high winds and struggling against limited water pressure. They were able to get the fire under control before it spread to neighboring businesses such as Sven and Ole's Pizza, Sivertson Gallery, and Set Out Screen Printing. The volunteers from Grand Marais, Colvill, Lutsen, and Maple Hill worked tirelessly to try and save the buildings... and now we must work to save these families!
Our small downtown business community grieves for these losses and is here to support each other. We are here to CHEER each other on. We are here to lift each other up. These three businesses are MODEL examples of this bond. Please donate what you can to support these families in this difficult time, exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, which has already dramatically reduced the tourism and local business flowing through Cook County which would usually be revving up for springtime and the summer busy season. Please donate/share and we will split the proceeds equally among the three businesses!
More of the stories of these beloved families:
Kelsey Kennedy, owner of Picnic & Pine grew up in the world of Grand Marais retail!! She remembers bouncing from her mom’s store Beth’s Fudge and Gifts to her friend’s mother’s store White Pine North all the summers of her youth. When The Attic closed a few years back and the building was for sale, Kelsey saw this as her opportunity to put her lifetime worth of experience into her OWN shop! Picnic & Pine was….. VERY Kelsey <3 their advertisement featured Kelsey, her husband Peter and their darling daughter Bea…. it was full of love, happiness, humor and PAUL BUNYAN!! I loved walking into Picnic & Pine. Staff was always cheerful, it felt really happy. Kelsey also works a big job at Cook County Higher Education and in this role she also supports our local business community by making sure they offer courses for business owners, ways to learn new skills, stay up to date with regulations and more. Kelsey Kennedy cares about her community in so many ways, we are here to support her today and always.
Sara and Nate Hingos are one of a kind. Their restaurant, The Crooked Spoon, is out of this world. The love, passion and energy they have funneled into their business is unparalleled. Their food and ever changing menu is simply amazing. If you have experienced their menu, I need not say more. If you have not, there is just no comparison, no explanation or definition that would give it justice. I have worked in downtown Grand Marais for 10 years this summer, I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I have heard praise to the HIGHEST LEVEL of the quality of Nate’s food. There is simply no comparison. As if the food wasn’t enough, the atmosphere they created in their restaurant, a former Greyhound Bus Station, was so beautiful, quaint and unique to their business culture. And above all else, the way they treat their staff is unprecedented. You walk into The Crooked Spoon, and if you weren’t from here, you might not know WHO owns the restaurant. They have staff who have been there years upon years, and they KNOW & LOVE the food, they KNOW & LOVE the menu, they KNOW & LOVE the values of The Hingos and they KNOW & LOVE their work family. The level of respect that Nate and Sara show their staff is awe inspiring. It is truly a family run business, in every definition of the statement. Their staff is family.
Tyler and Jessica Dean are a young family, with a spunky and adorable1.5 year old son named Oliver. The Deans purchased White Pine North from Jackie and Jim Larsen, who owned the store for over 45 years, just a few months ago. They purchased the business on January 1, 2020. Guys, Jessica and Tyler have jumped into our business community at FULL SPEED! With big smiles, collaboration over competition mindset and a DRIVE to succeed… they are IN IT! Day after day after day after day (x1000) they have been in their store this winter, working tirelessly to make White Pine North their own, while honoring the store’s vast history. During the COVID-19 crisis, Jessica and Tyler have been there for me (and many other business owners I’m sure) to help raise my spirits. They are so positive, they are so kind, they are SO DRIVEN (I know I have said this already, but MAN do they have drive!). I am fully confident that soon we will hear what is the new plan for White Pine North and when we hear this, we will support them 100%!
We are here to support Picnic and Pine, The Crooked Spoon Cafe and White Pine North. These businesses are run by amazing and beautiful people. Kelsey, Peter, Sara, Nate, Jessica & Tyler know that you are LOVED. Know that you are being held tight. Know that we are here for you. We are eager to serve you. We are eager to help. We love you.
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- Ernest Andrews
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