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Focus on shopping locally Saturday

Expect lots of shoppers in downtown Cloquet Saturday, as a growing number of businesses are actively participating in Small Business Saturday.

In part, that's because the number of businesses across Cloquet is growing, shifting, or under new ownership. But it's also due to a change in attitude among shoppers and business owners, said Holly Hansen, community development director for the city of Cloquet.

"People want to support their town," Hansen said. "The last couple of years, people have been really intentional, going out with family when they're home for the holidays, going to local stores or trying a new restaurant or coffee shop. I don't know if it was Covid, or just years of promoting this, but people are really starting to get it."

Small Business Saturday began nationally in 2010 as an American Express campaign to help small businesses gain exposure and encourage people to shop locally, and it's grown exponentially since then. This marks the ninth year that Hansen has been proactively organizing and promoting Small Business Saturday in Cloquet. A total of 32 businesses signed up with the city, which promoted the event on social media and through advertising.

"There are other new businesses opening in Cloquet that didn't sign up," Hansen said, mentioning the new Game, Play, Stay store at 305 Broadway St. in Cloquet's West End, for example. That's fine, she's just hoping people will visit as many stores as possible Saturday and beyond.

"Throughout the year, it's important to be intentional with your spending," the community development director advised. "It's easy to order online or go somewhere else, but it has to be a balanced

Continued on Page 14 approach if you want your town to have places like this to shop long-term. What would we be without our small businesses?"

Perhaps the pandemic made people realize how important it is to have local businesses to visit in person, or prompted potential business owners to take the next step after working in isolation. Whatever the reason, Hansen said local business is doing well.

"It's so nice to see the energy that business owners are bringing," she said.

Who's new?

Hansen rattled off a list of new downtown businesses, including Shop on the Corner and NDGNS (pronounced "indigenous") Beads N Gifts, which sit next door to each other in the former Jerio's at the corner of Seventh Street and Cloquet Avenue.

Shop on the Corner works with 62 active vendors, who pay rent and supply their own displays. The store opened in July. NDGNS sells a wide variety of beads, along with other indigenous items.

"Ninety-five percent of the store is handmade by local artists and crafters, product by product," said Shop on the Corner owner Pamela Hubbard, explaining she wanted to create a place where she could help other artists and crafters sell their products and offer classes and maybe simple food items in the future. "We also have retro toys, antique tools, vintage housewares and furniture and [a separate area for] Scandia Nook in the back."

Across the street and a block closer to the heart of downtown, Garden Isle Bath & Body is celebrating its second Small Business Saturday, selling all-natural sunscreens, face creams, lotions, pet products, soaps and more, created by owners Cori and Craig Beck. The Becks had been doing a thriving online business with their products, but wanted to move production out of their home and gained retail space as well by opening the store at 807 Cloquet Ave.

Nearby, Abundant Baby - which sells baby, children, mama and maternity clothes and debuted on Sunnyside Drive in 2022 - plans to be open at its new location at 807 Cloquet Ave., Suite 8, by Saturday.

Heart Berry will open the doors to its first brick-and-mortar store at 1111 Cloquet Avenue the day after Thanksgiving - Black Friday - and will roll into its second day on Small Business Saturday. That's a high-pressure start, but Heart Berry artist and CEO Sarah Agaton Howes is making a big deal out of Saturday. Auntie and Uncle's Snack Shack food truck will be parked in the city lot outside - "You've got to try the spicy walleye taco," she said - and Heart Berry is featuring guest artist Wendy Roy inside, with her beadwork. Everyone gets a free gift with purchase.

Heart Berry sells a wide range of Ojibwe art on clothing, home decor, blankets and now jewelry. It's merchandise "by inspired natives" versus inauthentic work "inspired by natives," said Agaton Howes. The CEO said this is the latest step for the local company.

"We started at the kitchen table, and then grew to my house and then grew to a trailer, which grew to the garage, and then we had a little warehouse," she said. "I started out doing custom regalia and beadwork for people ... really, the root of all of this art is based in that tradition."

Agaton Howes said they're "sticking their toe in" with the downtown location, which will be open Fridays only or by appointment after Small Business Saturday, and serves as a warehouse for the business. "There's also room to grow," said operations manager Cassandra Davis, adding that they've sold exclusively online and at pop-up events and powwows until now.

Sales galore

Take a walk Saturday and see how much is happening downtown. Other Cloquet Avenue businesses officially offering Small Business Saturday specials include Daugherty Appliance, Dave's Cloquet Mattress & Furniture, Epic Nutrition, Lacuna Massage, the Northern Lights Community Action thrift store, Pack & Mail Station, Shop on the Corner, Skutevik's Floral and Transfurmation Training & Grooming.

Mainstream Boutique was bustling this time last year, and should see more of the same, with snacks, discounts and door prizes on offer to a loyal customer base.

Hansen praised existing-business owners across town, noting Adam Bailey's interior and exterior renovations at The Jack bar and the new event center at Pedro's.

"Obviously, that's a domino from no more Solem building, which gave her the opportunity to buy and grow," Hansen said, regarding the city's condemnation of the former Hotel Solem. The city now owns the vacant Hotel Solem building and is working to find a development team to restore and redevelop the historic building.

Epic Nutrition at 10 12th Street and Bearaboo Coffee Escape on Stanley Avenue both have new owners who are participating in Small Business Saturday.

"Everyone is super-engaged," Hansen said, rattling off more citywide businesses on the list for Saturday. Those include The Quilted Dog quilt shop, MarksMan Trading Post, Gordy's Warming House, and The Fig Tree on the north side of town, and Burger Shoes on Carlton Avenue. Carmen's Bar & Restaurant and B&B Market on Big Lake Road are participating, and so are Premiere Theatres and Cold One Liquor, Outdoor Advantage, After Glow Tanning & Beauty Bar, and Nu Luxe Salon on the southern half of the city's commercial corridor.

"It's also great to see Holy Smokes bringing new energy to the West End, along with Crown Salon, the game store and the shake shop," Hansen added. "We have commercial retail spaces and they need to be supported. It's important to have uses for these spaces, otherwise they can be converted for less productive, less vibrant uses.

"All this business is exciting," Hansen said.

Check out the list of special sales below (listed alphabetically):

Abundant Baby

807 Cloquet Ave.

BOGO half off on select clothing! 

Hours 10am - 4pm

After Glow

1307 Hwy 33 S.

30% off everything, in the salon (& online)!

Hours 8:30am - 9pm

B&B Market

506 Big Lake Rd.

In-store specials!

Hours 7am – 7pm

Bearaboo Coffee

1005 Stanley Ave.

Free medium drink with every $25 gift card purchase

In-store specials!

Hours 7am - 5pm

Burger Shoes

1609 Carlton Ave.

Additional $20 off SALE footwear!

Additional $10 off Regular-Priced In-Stock footwear

20% all socks!

Hours 9:30am - 3pm

Carmen’s Bar & Restaurant

1410 Prospect Ave. W.

Half off appetizers from Noon – 10pm! 

Hours 8am – 1am

Cloquet Natural Foods

502 Carlton Ave.

Sales throughout the store! Hot drinks, samples, & a free 3oz chocolate bar with a $10 purchase! (one per customer) 

Hours 9am - Noon

Cold One Liquor

906 Hwy 33 S.

Drawing for a Solo Stove Bonfire on SBS, sign up in store! 

Hours 8am - 4pm 

Crowned Salon

114 Avenue C

20% off all product lines (Amika, Moroccan oil, Verb)!

20% off gift cards!

Hours 9am – Noon

Daugherty Appliance & Mattress Gallery

1114 Cloquet Ave.

Free delivery within 20 miles with any appliance purchase $699 & up!

Hours 9am – 5pm

Dave’s Cloquet Mattress & Furniture

1207 Cloquet Ave.

Storewide discounts & free 32” x 96” runners with purchases over $999

Hours 10am – 4pm

Epic Nutrition

10 – 12th St.

$5 off Salt Room Sessions!

15% off shake & tea combos!

Hours 8am - 2pm 

The Fig Tree

418 Sunnyside Dr.

Special Sales on Christmas Decor!

Hours 9:30am – 5pm

Garden Isle Bath & Body LLC

807 Cloquet Ave.

Storewide sales 10-60% OFF

Snacks & Beverages provided!

Hours 10am - 3pm

Heart Berry

1111 Cloquet Avenue

Free Gifts with Purchase

Auntie & Uncle's Snack Shack Food Truck - Elote, Walleye Tacos, & more!

Wendy Roy beadwork guest artist! 

Hours 10am – 6pm

Holy Smokes Coffeehouse & BBQ

103 Avenue C

Free 24 oz fountain beverage with the purchase of any sandwich/entrée! 

Hours 10am - 4pm

Lacuna Massage

1111 Cloquet Ave. Suite 1

Buy 3 Massages get 1 Free plus gift!

All retail 33% off (handmade healing accessories, incense etc.)

Coffee, treats & mini-Tarot readings!

Hours 10am - 5pm, No appts necessary!

Mainstream Boutique

1306 Cloquet Ave.

Snacks, discounts, door prizes!

Free gift with purchase!

Hours 9am - 5pm

MarksMan Trading Post

227 1/2 Hwy 33 N.

10% off all rifles & shotguns, free box of ammo with every handgun purchase, & 50% off our gun cleaning products! 

Hours 10am - 5pm

NDGNS Beads & Gifts

612 Suite A Cloquet Ave.

BOGO 50% off select Beads!

Hours 9am – 5pm

Northern Lights Community Action

901 Cloquet Ave.

Fill a bag with clothing for $5!

1/2 off Furniture

1/2 off baby equipment

Hours 9am - 1pm

Nu Luxe Salon

901 Stanley Ave.

15% off all retail! 

Buy $100 gift card get $15 free!

$245 Lash Packages (includes a full set & 3 fills -$280 value!) 

Hours 9am – 5pm 

Outdoor Advantage

1302 Hwy 33 S.

BOGO 1/2 Off Smartwool & Fish Monkey Socks!

Special pricing on select Carhartt hoodies!

Hours 8am - 6pm.

Pack & Mail Station

1110 Cloquet Ave.

We will have a Henna Artist in the store!

BOGO 50% on holiday decor & items!

Hours 9am – 4pm

Premiere Theatres, Inc.

904 Hwy 33 S.

Holiday gift card sale begins on SBS!

One free movie pass for every $50 gift card purchase (over $10 value)

Hours 1pm to Midnight

Quilted Dog Quilt Shop

274 Hwy 33 N.

Free gift with $20 purchase!

Hours 10am – 3pm

Shop on the Corner

612 Cloquet Ave.

In Shop Specials!

Hours 9am - 5pm

Skutevik’s Floral

1429 Cloquet Ave.

20% off store wide 

Hours 9am - Noon

Transfurmation Training & Grooming

1429 Cloquet Ave. (Side Door)

$50 Off Group Training class price!

Buy 4 Nail Trims, get 1 Free!

Dog goodie grab bags – dogs welcome

Hours 10am - 2pm

Gordy's Warming House

411 Sunnyside Dr.

50% off all ice cream & shakes!

Gift cards buy $50 get $10 free!

Hours 7am – 8pm

Two entities participating in Small Business Saturday that missed the deadline for the city flier are the Carlton County Historical Society at 406 Cloquet Ave. (featuring books by local authors, barn calendars and local artisan goods) and the Community Memorial Hospital gift shop, which touts the day as its "biggest sale of the year."