After nearly five years, Daisies & Daydreams, a home decor and gift store in Burning Tree Plaza in Duluth, is closing.
While we’re told the shop’s last day isn’t set, it will be by the end of February when the lease is up. But with its homespun, cottage-style merchandise going for 20 percent to 60 percent off, chances are the store will run out of merchandise and close before then.
Tracy Hansen first opened the specialty shop at 2510 Maple Grove Road in 2008, before moving the store across the street to Burning Tree Plaza two years ago.
Hansen declined to talk to me about the decision to close. But in the business’s blog, she had the following comments on its one year anniversary in 2009:
“… I truly need to say a big thank you to everyone who helped me make this dream a reality. It starts all the way back to family and friends that helped from the beginning stages and stuck by me to this day! I have a great staff that took a strong interest in the store and has worked hard for me. I really appreciate the level of commitment they have given. Most definitely, I need to thank all the people that have stopped by to see the store, have referred family and friends and have come back again and again! I have enjoyed every minute of this past year. I only hope that I will have many more to come! …. I look forward to bringing many more fun, exciting and beautiful pieces of merchandise to you to make your home shine and allow you to brighten someone’s day with that unique gift.”
We told you last month that AAR Corp. was going to extend its search for certified aircraft mechanics to the Twin Cities. And now they’re doing it.
The company, which started operating an aircraft maintenance base in Duluth in November, is holding a one-day job fair Wednesday (Jan. 23) in Bloomington.
The job fair will be from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Bloomington at the Mall of America. AAR recruiters will on hand to accept applications. Applications from military veterans are especially welcome.
“We’re taking a deeper dive across the state to find people with the requisite skills and aptitude to fill these highly skilled positions,” Dany Kleiman, AAR’s vice president for repair and engineering, said in a statement.
AAR has already hired more than 100 skilled workers for its new maintenance repair and overhaul base and has openings for 70 more mechanics. When the base reaches capacity, likely before year’s end, the base will employ up to 225 workers in avionics as well as sheet metal and related areas.
AAR is currently servicing Air Canada’s fleet of 89 Airbus jets at the Duluth base, which was built to service Northwest Airlines’ Airbus fleet.
It happened today.
Unleaded gas prices plunged below $3 per gallon in Duluth. Prices were at around $3.15 per gallon before the big drop to $2.99 per gallon. You can even find some stations at $2.98 per gallon. They include the M&H station on West Michigan, Holiday at 27th Avenue West, Cenex at 13th Avenue East and Fourth Street and Mobile at 12th Avenue East and Fourth St.
Sure, gas prices sliding below the magical $3 mark would have been a nice Christmas present. But we’ll take it for New Year’s.
The big price drop, which also happened around the state, followed a slight price rise last week. And it followed a year when the average price of gas in the country hit an all-time high of $3.60 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.
While you can find gas even cheaper in the Twin Cities today, we still have bragging rights. Duluth prices are currently cheaper than Cloquet’s $3.04 to $3.12 per gallon and Two Harbor’s $3.09 to $3.12.
Duluth’s $2.99 per gallon also is less than the Minnesota average of $3.04 per gallon and the national average of $3.26 per gallon.
Prices are projected to continue to fall. But who knows for how long. So fill ‘er up, and enjoy it while it lasts.
So who’s got the best holiday window displays in downtown Duluth? Winners of the Greater Downtown Council’s holiday lighting and window display contest were just announced. Here’s the winners:
Lighting category: Fitger’s Courtyard.
Most original: Siiviis (retail division)
Minnesota Power (commercial division)
Most traditional: Duluth Pack (retail)
CSL Plasma (commercial)
People’s Choice: Apricot Lane (retail)
CSL Plasma (commercial)
Facebook favorite: Lake Superior Art Glass
Hey tea lovers, the long-awaited Teavana tea store had a soft opening Thursday at Miller Hill Mall.
But it didn’t stay quiet for long. Shoppers, apparently deprived of rare specialty teas for too long, converged on the new shop last weekend. The store offers a changing sampling of brewed teas each day.
By Saturday afternoon, things were hopping at the store. Besides a wide selection of rare loose teas from around the world — including green, black, white, oolong, mate and herbal infusions — they offer cast iron and other tea sets and all sorts of tea paraphrenalia.
The store’s large tea selection includes such offerings as: Strawberry Rose Champagne (a French-inspried oolong tea), Samurai Chai Mate (a caffeine-rich green tea), Guava Papaya Passion (a white tea made with passionfruit) and Golden Monkey (a black tea that’s one of the top 10 teas of China).
It’s all a matter of taste. But among those I sampled, my favorite was Maharaja Chai Oolong, a rich tea made with spices including cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutty cardamon that’s supposed to be robust. But to me, it was smooth and flavorful.
The loose-leaf teas are sold by the ounce, starting with a minimum of two ounces, costing $7 to $12, a store staffer said. But because of the quality of the leaves and other ingredients, you can use them for brewing more than once.
After months of rumors that Leeann Chin’s was coming to Duluth, we were the first to tell you in late August that it was true.
Leeann Chin would open in the fall in the Miller Hill Mall food court. However, it would have an express format with a limited menu compared to its sit-down restaurants.
Now we got the details.
It’ll open on Monday, Oct. 22. Hours will be 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m on Sunday.
While mall officials say the new vendor will complement Max Orient, a longtime Asian food vendor in the food court, observers fear Max Orient will be hurt big time.”
Leeann Chin’s opening comes on the heels of the opening of a Noodles & Co. restaurant at the mall. Both were on many people’s wish list for Duluth.
There’s good news and bad news coming out of this year’s Minnesota Chamber of Commerce business survey.
The annual “business barometer survey,” found employers are generally optimistic about the state’s long-term economic future.
But businesses aren’t confident the state has completely emerged from the recession. And that’s keeping them from hiring more people and investing more in their businesses right now.
Optimism, however, is slowly returning for the first time in several years, the survey found. Thirty-one percent said the economy is improving, compared to 13 percent last year.
An equal number of the 350 Minnesota businesses surveyed reported adding staff as said they had reduced their staff in the previous year.
Taxes, government regulations, rising employee health insurance costs, electricity costs — all were identified as barriers to job creation. Half said there are enough skilled workers in their industries and that training can solve apparent shortages.
Last week I found myself in the fashion brain center of Maurices chain of more than 800 stores.
It came during a tour of Maurices corporate headquarters in downtown Duluth, led by company President George Goldfarb himself who, by the way, knows many of his 365 downtown employees by name.
“I think that’s important,” he said. “That’s an important part of the (company) culture.”
The tour took us across a private skywalk and down a few floors to the Michigan Street level of the old Woolworth’s store at 106 W. Superior St., now part of Maurices’ corporate headquarters.
There, a mock Maurices store and storefront window are set up for trial displays and experimentation. Several women who determine what fashions Maurices will feature at its stores and what its store displays will look like, sat around a large T-shaped table.
So I had to ask: “What’s the next big fashion trend?”
“Colored bottoms,” one said without hesitation. Expect slacks in bright colors — pink, teal, bright green, red and pastels this winter, she said. The others chimed in in agreement. Some were even wearing colorful slacks themselves.
The trend has begun.
Last weekend, I noticed TV ads for Old Navy are showing colorful jeans. And the JCP (aka JC Penney) advertising insert in Sunday’s paper pictures models in bright orange and purple slacks and loud black and white prints.
After several delays, the long awaited Noodles & Company restaurant will open Thursday at Miller Hill Mall.
If you’ve driven by it in recent days, you may have noticed the big countdown — literally. For the number of days until the opening has been posted in the window.
We first told you Noodles was coming to the space formerly occupied by the Great American Bar & Grill in the mall’s restaurant row back in January. Initially, the popular pasta eatery was to open in mid-summer.
Noodles is known for its pastas but also offers soups, salads and sandwiches. With a fast casual format, customers order at a counter and then are served at their tables.
Since its founding in 1995, Noodles has grown to a chain of about 300 restaurants across the country. About 30 are in Minnesota.
The owners of Art in the Alley don’t waste any time.
Just one-and-a-half months after Tami LaPole Edmunds and Dan Edmunds signed a lease for a storefront at 230 E.Superior St. in downtown Duluth, they have opened.
And by mid-September, just as they said they would.
The official grand opening is 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday with a ribbon cutting and live music. But, what the heck, the boutique — with its offerings of unique home decor, clothing, jewelry and odds and ends by 30 local artists — was looking great Monday. So while finishing touches were done to displays, they opened their doors for the first time.
Many of the items are repurposed. All are displayed with the use of antique furniture and vintage items, which adds to the colorful store’s appeal.
So ladies, if you like originality and what thinking outside the box can create, check out the store at the corner of Superior Street and Third Avenue East, next to Zeitgeist Arts in old Downtown. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.
It’s the second store for the artist couple. The first Art in the Alley opened four years ago in historic Old City Hall at Hammond Avenue and Broadway in Superior. It continues to operate.