BLAEDC Holds Annual Meeting Detailing Economic Growth Of Lakes Area
Business leaders, community members, and elected officials alike agreed Monday that the future of the Brainerd Lakes Area looks bright.
People gathered at the Arrowwood Lodge in Baxter today for the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation’s annual meeting.
“We’re a local economic development organization that once a year celebrates our successes and shares inspiring stories on growth and prosperity in the area,” said Sheila Haverkamp, BLAEDC Executive Director.
The Brainerd Lakes Economic Development Corporation, or BLAEDC, was formed in 1985 and is a community based, non-profit organization that works to preserve and enhance the area’s economic base.
“We want to have a diverse marketplace that the area continues to grow and thrive and people have jobs and can be proud and have a way to support their families and buy a home, and all the good things that come with a prosperous community,” explained Haverkamp.
They hold a community meeting every year in order to discuss the organization and the progress taking place in the area.
“We’re a behind-the-scenes, small group that often times isn’t in the forefront. We want to make sure people know the good things that are happening and the positive projects that are occurring,” added Haverkamp.
The meeting featured speakers from businesses around the community with the keynote address given by former Duluth Mayor Don Ness.
One of the speakers announced that they will be opening a new business in Crosby that will sell homemade, craft ice cream, charcuterie, cheases, and more. The new business, Victual, is opening in downtown Crosby and in addition to being a storefront, it will also house a new ice cream company called Rave Creamworks.
“It is a super-premium ice cream which means it is full dairy, high butterfat content, and not a lot of air whipped into it, and it happens to be lactose free,” said Paul Kirkman, Victual Founder and President. “And we’re the first super-premium ice cream that is being done lactose free.”
Paul Kirkman and Victual are just one example of the growth that the Lakes Area is seeing.
“I’m really excited that there seems to be a focus in the Brainerd Lakes Area, Crow Wing County, for kind of what’s next. We’re just excited to see a lot of energy and enthusiasm and I think it’s building momentum for some of the things that are going to happen next,” said Kirkman. “We’re really excited about it.”
Victual and Rave Creamworks is hoping to be open in Crosby this summer around Memorial Day weekend.