Classic building rebuilt

Guests explore the newly refurbished interior of the historic downtown Blooming Prairie building that now houses Kik Graphics and Printing during a Wednesday open house. (William Morris/People’s Press)

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — The building that now holds Kik Graphics and Printing in Blooming Prairie has a long and varied history.

“It was an egg factory, a public library, an ambulance garage and a real estate agent [office],” Kik owner Tyler Kruckeberg said. “It’s been a couple things.”

But the building at 110 Highway Ave. N, which Kruckeberg said is more than a century old, was in poor condition when he bought it, with damage to walls, floors and trim. 14 months later, it’s finally ready for business.

“We bought some reclaimed wood, redid all the trim, put in carpeting, sand-blasted the brick, put some bathrooms in, and just really did things to make it come to life,” Kruckeberg said.

On Wednesday, Kik opened its doors to the public to show off the results. Visitors enjoyed appetizers and drinks while touring the newly refinished main floor as well as the second-floor balcony and the still-under-construction third floor.

“A lot of people knew what this building was before, and we get a lot of people asking,” Kruckeberg said. “At night, when the lights are on and we’re working, you can literally see brake lights as people slow to try to see in. … We just want to give the public an open house to see what it is.”

Before moving into its new building Friday, Kik was in a much smaller industrial building south of town. The larger space has allowed him to bring in new equipment to expand the services he can provide.

“I can sit here all day and say things we can do,” he said. “Pretty much, you have an idea, and 99 percent of the time, we can do it.”

Kruckeberg said the building was for sale as a package deal with the building next door, and that he partnered with Minimizer, owned by his father, Craig Kruckeberg, to seal the deal. The building next door also underwent renovations and since June has housed the Minimizer marketing department.

“We had bought the corporate offices on the other side of town and ran out of space,” Minimizer Marketing Director Steve Hansen said. “We refurbished both buildings and then the building next door became our marketing office. We’ve got five or six people working next door, and that opened up desks at the other building.”

Kruckeberg is currently the only employee of Kik Graphics, but he said he expects to hire at least two new employees in 2016 now that there is space for all of them to work without tripping over each other.

William Morris is a reporter for the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 444-2372; follow him on Twitter @OPPWilliam

City government and public safety reporter for the Owatonna People's Press

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