Owner store

Rumbly Hall to be transformed into new retail store – Brainerd Dispatch

Changes are coming for downtown Brainerd with Rumbly Hall closing and new retail opening in its space.

For owner Sarah Hayden Shaw, it’s a bit bittersweet.

Shaw said she doesn’t have enough time to manage both the Laurel Street event center and her restaurant, Sage on Laurel, which is down the block. Shaw did a major renovation of the former Blue Ox Bar to create Sage on Laurel, which opened in 2017.

With a passion for restoring historic downtown buildings, Shaw also purchased the former Iron Rail Saloon and transformed this large corner building in downtown Brainerd – it was the former JC Penney store – into a an event space and offering a home in Knotty Pine as well as renovating tenant space above.

Shaw opened the event space, which was available for weddings, meetings, parties, conferences and all types of events, in 2018. But Shaw said the pandemic, which has reduced gatherings and events of sorts, meant that Rumbly Hall was inactive for much of the past two years. And the future of events remains unstable.

All previously scheduled reservations will be honoured, allowing Rumbly Hall to continue through mid-April.

“It’s a great retail location anyway,” Shaw said.

Shaw has remodeled the space to return to the grandeur of her 1920s retail store. She is leasing the space to a retail store that was a home-based business, which is slated to open around the end of May.

For Shaw, the ability to renovate retail and future space in downtown Brainerd is a positive and focusing on Sage on Laurel is the plan at this time, although it does not rule out no other potential businesses on the road.

“We had a lot of fun there and the events we had and we’re grateful for all the times we had there, but this seems like the right direction to go,” Shaw said.

Tami and Ben Olson are behind the new business moving into the Rumbly Hall event space.

Olson’s Corner Keepsakes is set to open around the end of May with a variety of items, from handmade candles and wooden decorations, to clothing, souvenirs and gifts.

The couple has a solid business background in education and work experience. They plan to provide a location that appeals to both summer visitors and residents. The Olsons said they had been working on the concept for about a year with their various products and they were working on perfecting their craft, and then the event space opportunity came along and they decided they would do as well to get started.

They want to offer monthly candle making classes. They believe what will set them apart is their focus on handmade items by them. The store will also include wholesale items from external vendors.

“We’re going to have a lot of unique offerings that are going to change because they’re handcrafted by us and so you’re going to get a unique piece,” Ben Olson said.

Decor types will include signs that people can include in their cabins or homes. They create an American flag with wood. They also have a handmade children’s piggy bank, but in the shape of a fish or a turtle.

The store will include a few items for weddings. They will make arches for weddings and boxes, items that people can buy or rent.

For apparel, they plan to offer T-shirts and sweatshirts that appeal to visitors, may include Brainerd or Minnesota name tags as well as items with fun phrases. Gift items may include keychains and coffee mugs with some of these mugs printed by the store.

The Olsons said they always wanted to have their own business and work for themselves.

“Over the past five years, we’ve often had the idea of ​​owning a restaurant,” Tami Olson said, noting that their background was in restaurant management and people management. But that changed after the pandemic and thinking about the staff involved in a restaurant operation.

“This venture is going to give us the ability to use our creative side,” said Ben Olson, adding that it will hopefully be something the community will love and be proud of. downtown revitalization.

“We like to make people smile,” said Tami Olson. “We love, love, love customer service. So while going out on the side of the hospitality industry, we can always put a smile on people’s faces with them walking through our door with our cheerful disposition and, you know, with some of the things we make.

The Olsons also plan to build to some extent for custom orders.

They also plan to do some exterior remodeling to create a storefront. The Olsons are in the process of creating a website for their store and plan to have a strong online presence with sales through Amazon and will ship for online orders.

“We know how to market ourselves and we know how to market ourselves, which I think will set us apart from some of the other sites that have the same things we do,” Tami Olson said.

Both have extensive training and real-world experience in the hospitality industries to guide them.

Tami Olson left restaurant management in July and started working for Shaw. Along with a friend, Tami Olson has a wedding and events business called Butterfly Events and Wedding Planning. Ben Olson is a graduate of St. Cloud State University in Commerce and received his Masters in Management from the College of St. Scholastica.