With growth comes change…

 

With growth comes change and WOW have we experienced a crazy amount of both within the last 2.5 years. We went from a family of 6 to a family of 7, opened 4 new stores, merchandised an additional 3, completed over 50+ offsite pop up events, hosted over 100 in store events, and have loved every minute of it. Now don’t get me wrong although there have been many highs, there have also been many lows. In the small business world, you learn to love the lows just as much as you love the highs. The seasons of it all are truly what I have learned to appreciate the most. The tough times have taught me to always appreciate the good times and always strive to do/be better and the good times have taught me to appreciate the journey along the way while celebrating the little successes each and every day.

I am a low risk kind of girl with big dreams! As we have expanded The Refinery from St. Peter, I wasn’t quite sure where this journey would take us but knew I wanted to test the waters and expand into other communities. When doing so we entered short term leases (1 year-1.5 years) to allow us the capabilities to test the waters but also allow us time to get to know the communities, and overall make sure each of the locations we did open were a good fit for both The Refinery and the communities we were a part of. But of course, … All short-term leases come to an end.

Prior to resigning we really used this time to look at our overall business model and evaluate where we see The Refinery going from here, while also looking at customer demands and feedback, family life (You guys know I am all about family first), long term growth, and so on. With that being said we have made a few key changes to a few of our locations that we wanted to share:

Waseca:  We will be closing our Waseca location effective Saturday March 17th. Waseca has been a fun adventure for us but due to the change in business structure (Moving from 3 day a week locations to all locations being 5-7 day a week locations) we have decided to close our Waseca location. We have been extremely grateful for the time we have had in Waseca and the staff and customers who have been with us from the beginning.

New Prague: The hotel location we have been in has officially SOLD/Leased again. This time we are making a move with this change. We will be moving our New Prague location down the street to a more permanent home in the former Prairie Pond Winery location. We are UBER excited about this change as it will really allow us to make this special place a home. With more space (indoor & outdoor) we have big plans for this new space and can’t wait to share more as things evolve. As of right now our plan is to be fully moved and relocated by 4/7.

St. Peter: Many of you know we took on the additional space in St. Peter mid Fall and have loved making it our own. With my husband being in the ice cream business we have always dreamt of ways we would be able to incorporate his passion and expertise as we continue to create that special Refinery experience throughout various locations. It has been a long time in the making, but we have received state plan approval and will begin the transition of a portion of our St. Peter store to a hard scoop Ice Cream shop! Our vision with this side of the store is to be able to come in and enjoy a sweet treat, old pops and candy, gifts, and our love for all things Minnesota.  We hope to have this set up and ready to go late Spring and look forward to bringing this concept to the downtown St. Peter area.

Minneapolis: Everything is in motion and we are hoping to be open by early to mid-April!

In our household we try to end our days with recapping our highs and our lows, and this post was definitely filled with a few of each.

The highs:

  • Effective the week of 4/9 all locations we will be expanding our hours at each location.
    • St. Peter (7 Days a week- No Change)
    • New Prague (Tuesday-Saturday)
    • Chaska (Tuesday-Saturday)
    • Minneapolis (Tuesday-Saturday)
  • We will be adding a new experience to a portion of our St. Peter store (Ice Cream)
  • We will be relocating our New Prague location down the block to the old Prairie Pond Winery space. Creating a new experience with the original Refinery feel.

Lows:

  • The closing of our Waseca location. This was such a tough decision for me and one that has weighed on me heavily. This decision was 100% made based upon overall logistics and where we see our overall business going. Our Waseca customers have been nothing short of amazing and I truly thank you for an incredible year.  I thank each and every one of you in the Waseca community and the surrounding communities that have shopped our Waseca location. Our Waseca doors will officially close to the public Saturday March 17th.

Growth is good and change is hard and although I don’t have a crystal ball, I am confident in the direction we continue to head in and look forward to continuing this journey with you! Thank you for your continued support and growing and changing with us along the way!

Ashleigh

 

Ashleigh