New Kwik Trip Causing Proctor Small Businesses to Close
Proctor Milk House and Stokke's Meat Market Closing Doors.
DULUTH, Minn.- One Proctor business has closed, and another announced its closure, as the new Duluth Kwik Trip near Proctor undergoes construction.
Back in 2017 over 100 Duluth and Proctor residents and business owners packed an open house, opposing the Kwik Trip on Boundary Avenue, for fear of it forcing smaller businesses out.
Ultimately Kwik Trip got the land, and is set to open in September.
Meanwhile, it seems the fears from the open house are coming true.
On Boundary Avenue near its intersection with U.S. Highway 2 sits an empty building which used to house the Mobil Gas Station and Stokke’s Meat Market.
Stokke’s announced its closure of that location on Facebook Monday, telling customers to visit their other locations in Adolph and Lakewood.
Those living nearby the old gas station said they’re sad to see the local meat market go.
“I miss the Stokke’s, I miss actually having the car wash here,” said David Olin, who’s been living close to the Mobil for 19 years. “Kwik Trip, they have more car washes too. Eh, it’s just right down the road.”
“So there’s advantages and disadvantages. I know lot of the kids who live in the community would stop by here and get the ice cream and stuff.”
Kwik Trip owns and operates more than 600 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.
While residents can use the new Kwik Trip for some of the products from their closed-down favorites, it’s a big obstacle for business owners.
Down Highway 2, the owner of the Proctor Milkhouse, Mark Fiege, said after 30 years, he might have to close down.
If Kwik Trip takes half of their volume, like it has for other small businesses it’s moved close to, they’ll have to shut their doors, putting their workers out of a job.
“That’ll be the hardest part is I’ve got wonderful staff, Fiege said. “Been here 30 years like I said and through the years we’ve had many wonderful employees and the community’s treated us well.”
“Maybe this will be the thing that makes them realize that they need to support the small businesses and maybe we’ll be able to keep the doors open.”
Despite his situation, Fiege said he has nothing negative to say about Kwik Trip. His decision to close in not set in stone just yet.