Three recent loans; New owners purchase Itasca County business

Recently Closed Loans

The Northland Foundation closed on three recent loans totaling $290,000 to support Northeast Minnesota small businesses. They are:

  • Alicia Ziebol d/b/a Ziebol Child Care, Cloquet
  • Unclaimed Freight North of Aitkin, Inc., Aitkin
  • Lester River Brewing Company, LLC d/b/a Lake Superior Brewing, Duluth

To learn more about Business Services and loan tools available, please email our Business Services Director, Michael Colclough.

Client story: Grand Rapids Tire and Auto

Grand Rapids Tire and Auto is a staple of the Grand Rapids community. It opened in 1984 as a small, one-stall shop selling and servicing tires. In 2005, a new building accommodated expansion to five stalls. The business provides automotive repair featuring a team of technicians and state-of-the-art equipment and sells top-brand tires for everything from passenger cars to commercial trucks, buses, agricultural equipment, ATVs, and trailers, along with a full line of Interstate batteries.

When the longtime owners decided to retire and sell in 2021, it turned out to be perfect timing for another Grand Rapids couple, Darrin and Shar Anderson, to follow their dreams.

“We had talked about wanting our own business for years. We researched the business and talked to community members. We heard nothing but great things, not only about the business but also about Bruce and Linda Anderson, the original owners,” said Shar.

The lion’s share of the Anderson’s financing was provided by Members Cooperative Credit Union (MCCU), who approached the Northland Foundation to help round out the loan package. The Andersons spotted the ‘For Sale’ sign in September and financing closed within six months.

“It’s great to see smooth ownership transitions like this keeping businesses local. With equity from the Andersons and gap financing from the Northland Foundation, the deal came together quickly and seamlessly,” said Al Bastien, Business Services Officer with MCCU.

“We are very optimistic about the future.”

Darrin Anderson, co-owner

Shar and Darrin officially took over operations in February 2022.

Darrin graduated from the Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, Arizona and later received Advanced Mercedes Benz Training. He has been working as an auto technician in the Grand Rapids area for 16 years. Shar’s background is in Business and Human Resources, to which she added an MBA in 2020.

“It just fit. Darrin works as a technician and oversees the shop while I am able to put my education and experience to work running the front office,” explained Shar.

They view customer service and quality work as their top priorities.

“We have a great crew of five and over 30 years of combined automotive experience. We will strive for excellent customer service by providing honesty and transparency in every aspect of servicing your vehicle needs,” stated Darrin. “We are very optimistic about the future.”

Darrin and Shar Anderson became the proud owners of Grand Rapids Tire and Auto (below) in February.