BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Hundreds of people gathered beneath the sunshine Friday to celebrate the relocation of Eagle Prairie Insurance and Klemmensen Creative to U.S. Highway 218 in Blooming Prairie.
And at noon, the Blooming Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce made the opening of Jay and Jamie Klemmensen’s businesses official with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the recently laid sod in front of the building.
“Congratulations on the opening of a beautiful building,” said Luke Swenson, chamber president, after the red ribbon was snipped by the Klemmensens fell to the ground.
Smiles filled Jay and Jamie Klemmenson’s faces while they held their 3-year-old daughter, Andi, and their 20-month-old son, Bergen, in front of a small group while others enjoyed pork burgers, potato salad, baked beans, chips and cookies provided during the open house.
“Thank you to the community,” Jay Klemmensen said. “We wouldn’t be here without your support. Thank you very much.”
The open house marked the completion of a project that gained traction earlier this year.
In January, the Klemmensens announced their businesses, which were formerly located at 150 Fifth St. NE in Blooming Prairie, would move to the former Jim’s Standard Gas Station site at 311 Highway Ave. S — a site that had sat vacant since 2006 before the couple bought it in July 2015 — in the summer.
Construction started on the project in February, and Jay and Jamie Klemmensen relocated Eagle Prairie Insurance and Klemmensen Creative, owned respectively, to the new site in early June.
The couple turned the large overhead garage doors into glass panels that allow light into the insurance side of the business, and the former gas station entrance opens up to Klemmensen Creative. The interior is splashed with rustic and modern fixtures, giving the business a one-of-a-kind look.
“I’m just astonished with the way it turned out,” Jamie said. “It’s way better than I imagined. It’s kind of surreal.”
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Klemmensens also revealed a tribute to the men and women who have and are serving in the U.S. military on the north exterior.
“They do a great job,” Jay said, before he and his wife revealed an 8-by-5 foot mural featuring an American flag and eagle imprinted in glass that can be seen from the highway.
Jay Klemmensen, a Blooming Prairie native, started Eagle Prairie Insurance in July 2014 with Sara Kaplan, an agent and account specialist, and serves clients across Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Jamie Klemmensen started her own graphic design business under the same roof as Eagle Prairie in January 2015 after working for the Post-Bulletin Company for nearly 16 years.
While with the Post-Bulletin Company, she held three positions with the latest being Rochester Magazine art director from October 2006 to January 2015.
And as a freelance graphic designer, Jamie said she’s had the opportunity to do more than editorial and advertising design, such as custom graphics and web design.
Jay, who managed the Blooming Prairie Country Club with his father for 11 years and was an insurance agent at another agency for three years prior to starting Eagle Prairie, had been leasing the previous space for a couple years.
At the open house, Jamie said it was amazing how many people came out to celebrate with them.
“It’s great to see it means that much to other people, too,” she said.
The Klemmensens anticipated about 300 people would attend the event.
“We were expecting a big turnout, and the weather makes it even better,” Jamie said. “It’s been amazing.”