Business Spotlight

Mama’s Mercantile
410 Hwy 60 W
Elysian, MN
Phone # 507-267-4480
www.mamas-mercantile.com

You could say family business is the focus at Mama’s Mercantile. After starting a greenhouse business just 4 miles North of Elysian almost 45 years ago, the Greenwald family decided in 2005 that it was time to expand. Kim Greenwald-Mitchell and Audene Greenwald (Mother/daughter) owned the greenhouse business together in 2005 and Kim’s family was growing so they decided to grow the business too. They purchased the old Antique store on Highway 60 in Elysian with Dawn and Tom Nygren (Audene’s other daughter and son-in-law). The family vision was clear. They would create a gift store with floral arrangements on the Greenwald side of the business and a bakery and deli on the Nygren’s portion of the business. There were modifications to the buildings. They would connect the Old Schoolhouse to the main building and add a kitchen to the addition, along with a flower cooler and bathrooms. It was a welcomed change to the area as Mama’s Mercantile and EllieGail’s Bakery and Deli opened in the Spring of 2006.

The gift store features well over 100 gift lines that include: greeting cards, candles, candy, clothing, toys, decor, wind chimes, gifts, Watkins products, many Minnesota made products and much more. Fresh flowers are always available. You can purchase what is available in the cooler or place an order to be picked up at any time during business hours. During the Spring and Summer months you will find hanging baskets, house and garden plants and garden decor available. In Fall and Winter you will find amazing outdoor pots and Holiday decor available to decorate your home or porch.

Mama’s (as people often call them) employs 8 part-time employees and 4 family members (3 generations!) They are very proud of the family aspect of their business and strive to keep a tight relationship with the community. This family can often be seen volunteering at community events. “Community is a huge part of every business, having a sense of Community and helping to maintain a healthy and happy place for others around you is crucial,” says Greenwald-Mitchell, “ we are so lucky to be a part of such a beautiful town with wonderful people.”

When asked what was the most important aspect of their business they responded, “Local Business awareness. Keeping customers and gaining new ones can be challenging in today’s world! We are so thankful for the support of our customers and hope we can keep people shopping locally by offering a great selection of quality gifts, decor and fresh flowers.”

All flowers are designed by Audene or employee Brenda at their flower shop out in the country but conveniently brought either to Mama”s Mercantile for pick up or delivered to your place of choice. This service is not only handy but their years of experience make sure you get a unique and beautiful product.

So when you need to do your Holiday Shopping, that last-minute gift , the perfect indulgence for yourself or just the right decor for your home, go and check out Mama’s Mercantile. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

The Knotty  Bar & Grill
510 State Highway 60 W. Elysian, MN
Phone # 507-267-4007

The Knotty Bar & Grill opened to the public on Oct. 4, 2018, in Elysian, MN. It is co-owned by Angie Jenkins, and Ryan and Liz Bair, and Emily Swalve.

Angie lives in Mapleton with her 2 sons. Ryan and Liz also live in Mapleton with their 4 children. Emily lives in Janesville with her husband, Joe, and 2 children.

The Knotty Bar & Grill employs approximately 35 people. Nick Soderlund is the chef, bringing his expertise to the table. Emily makes sure that the food is fresh, made to order and much of it is made from scratch. “From our signature items such as our Knotty dip, Knotty sauce, chicken wild rice soup, hand-battered onion rings, and even our dressings/sauces. We hand selected all our burgers, steaks, fish and breads. We use high quality products and we focus on quality and consistency with every order. We offer daily and weekly specials along with our delicious prime rib every weekend. Emily says, “We want people leaving here saying ‘Wow! That is the best meal I’ve ever had.’ Although it can take a little more time to prepare a side dish of fresh green beans or bacon fried cabbage—yes, I said bacon fried cabbage! A must have!—or homemade mac & cheese…we strive to make each part of the meal the ‘wow’ factor, not just the entrée.”

Angie believes, “We have hired an amazing kitchen staff, offering our patrons a quality food menu, an outstanding wait and bar staff offering top-notch customer service. We are very excited to be a part of the business community here in Elysian.” Liz agreed, “The team that we hired have been amazing. We have some people with some great experience which has been a huge help. Our employees have been excellent; I feel very lucky to have such a great group.”

The trio already have “ideas and plans that we will be implementing in the coming year at the Knotty Bar & Grill, including fun promotional events, live entertainment, expansion of several items to our food/drink menus and continued additional property improvements as well.”

The owners of the Knotty Bar & Grill make it a point to be very receptive to customer feedback and requests. “We want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to so many! All of the support, words of encouragement and now the wonderful patronage we have received from our families, friends, surrounding community members, and various business vendors is truly a great blessing. We couldn’t have done this without you!”

The Knotty Bar & Grill…Dedicated to creating your next great dining destination!

Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The kitchen is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with dinner entrees served from 4:30 to 9 p.m. The Knotty is available for large party reservations and private event bookings. E-tabs and pull tabs are coming soon.

The Pit Stop
205 E. State Highway 60  Elysian, MN
Phone # 507-267-4560

The Pit Stop has been a staple of the Elysian area community for quite some time. In 2004 Scott and Kathy Roemhildt, Elysian locals, purchased the landmark which began a new chapter in the Roemhildt family story. While a staple in the community, the Pit Stop has also been a staple in the Roemhildt family as Kathy and her daughter had been employed by the previous owners of the business.

Scott and Kathy live in northern rural Elysian. They have 3 adult daughters and 4 grandchildren. A fun fact about this family business is that one of the daughters and 2 of the grandchildren are employed at Pit Stop. This is in addition to the 8 other people Pit Stop employs.

For the past 15 years locals, vacationers, and those “just passing through” have experienced the unique atmosphere of Pit Stop. This is not your typical gas station. The Pit Stop offers a range of services including: a seasonal and daily camping; the deli kitchen with made to order subs; salads, pizza; and other goodies; a very accommodating grocery, automotive, and home good selection; off-sale liquor located on the west side of the building; full bait and tackle shop complete with fishing and hunting license sales available; a Minnesota State Lottery retailer; and many more services are available to customers at the Pit Stop.

Kathy says “I enjoy meeting every person coming through the door with a warm greeting, a friendly smile, and a good sense of humor”. She also added that a few select individuals engage in a daily playful banter inclusive of light-hearted sarcasm.

Both Scott and Kathy agreed that they have made many updates and introduced new services over the past 15 years that have included: The liquor store, upgrading and expanding the campground to include more camping options and amenities, increasing the grocery sections, and expanding the kitchen to include made to order food and warm lunches for those of us looking for a quick bite while in town.

Kathy remarked about the Pit Stop team, “we have had friends, family, nieces, and nephews work at the store throughout the years, we couldn’t have done without each and every one of them.” “We appreciate the dedication of our team members and look to grow the legacy of Pit Stop”.

Scott and Kathy make it a priority to make relationships with every person that walks through the door. Kathy pointed out that she appreciates customer feedback and is always looking for new services to provide or ways to improve the existing services. “We appreciate and value our customers and community and look forward to continue to serve our existing and welcome new customers. “ A big THANK YOU is due to the community for the support and amazing patronage. This wouldn’t be possible without the people of this unique community.

The Pit Stop…As Scott would say “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it”!

Hours are 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. 7 days a week with some considerations of hour changes for holidays. Camping reservations are made by calling the number listed and can be done during business hours. Stop in and say ‘hi’, we welcome you!!

Trailside Trims
107 West Main Street
Elysian, MN 56028

Trailside Trims has gone through many changes since the doors first opened in 1999.  Jane Conroy, the owner of the salon, specialized in family hair care (perms, colors, wedding and prom styles, etc.). Jane stated that she had wanted to be able to raise her children while she worked. “We had a corner with movies and games for the kids and we hung notes on the door so customers could find me if I was at an event, such as a Little League game.  My daughter came to work with me and many of my customers would entertain my baby while I worked on their hair.  Something like that can really only work in a small town like Elysian,” Jane said.

“By 2006, we had two stylists, and we added a barber stylist, as well as the first massage therapist in Elysian.  An opportunity arose for us to purchase a building, rather than continuing to rent the one we were in at that time, and we took it, deciding to move about a block up the street.  We renovated the new location and rebranded, becoming Of the Earth.  Of the Earth was one of the first eco-friendly salons in the entire State of Minnesota as there were only two or three others at the time.  Along with offering massage and barber services, we decided to add manicures, pedicures, facials, and spa parties to our repertoire. We needed to become much more educated in the use of eco-friendly products and essential oil usage, so we did just that, learning more and more whenever possible.” Jane Conroy.

Jane’s daughter, Stephanie Conroy, joined the team in 2008 as a certified massage therapist, and Wanda Morsching joined in 2014 as a stylist that specializes in using Redken products.

In 2018, the decision was made to drop the name “Of the Earth” and return to “Trailside Trims”. “We felt that although Redken is a wonderful line of product, it’s not an organic product. I had wanted to return to the original Trailside Trims name so that, along with the fact that we now have the Sakatah State Trail right behind us, it just made sense to do so,” Jane said.

“We don’t do much advertising – word of mouth has worked just fine for us. We still specialize in family hair care, do spa parties, sell products such as soaps, scrubs, shampoos, conditioners, and balms, as well as essential oils, maple syrup, and popcorn, and we give educational classes once in a while. We’ve been told that we’re a ‘best kept secret’ of sorts and we love that!” Jane said.

About the Staff

Jane Conroy: Owner/manager who specializes in natural and organic hair care, education of essential oil use, and organic homemade spa products. Jane has been married to her husband and best friend Timothy Conroy for thirty-seven years. She is blessed with four children (three sons and one daughter), a daughter-in-law, and a grandson. Jane enjoys spending time with her family and close friends, crafting, gardening, volunteering, reading and a good cup of tea.

Stephanie Conroy: Certified Massage therapist who specializes in deep-tissue and Swedish massage and essential oil use. Stephanie is blessed with one son. Stephanie enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping and sitting outside in the sun in the summer.

Wanda Morsching: Manager/stylist who specializes in Redken haircare, precision haircutting, innovative hair color, manicures, and pedicures. Wanda has been married to her husband Richard Morsching for thirty-two years. Wanda is blessed with three children (two sons and one daughter), and a grandson. Wanda enjoys spending time with her family and friends, fishing, gardening, and volunteering for Waterville and Elysian community events.

So, come on in and say “Hello!” If our door is closed, then we are likely with our families or involved in a community event; leave a note on our door or call the number on our sign (507-267-4922) and we will contact you.