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period, he also operated HH Catering.
Last September, the Maple Lake American Legion Club approached him about cooking at that establishment every Friday night. And now he is associated with the other veteran’s organization after the purchase of the VFW property.
“The VFW opportunity came up in February and I have been working on it ever since,” Heeralall said. “The VFW felt I was the right person to come and take the business over.”
After a long, deliberate process, Star Bank took ownership of the former First National Bank of Elk River branch in Maple Lake on July 20, 2012.
Star Bank is a privately-owned bank with nine branches in the Minnesota cities of Annandale, Barrett, Bertha, Eagle Bend, Eden Prairie, Elbow Lake, Graceville, Verndale and Wheaton. As of December 31, 2011, Star Bank had assets of $149 million, deposits of $127 million, loans of $108 million and 55 employees.
The acquisition of the Maple Lake office of First National Bank of Elk River was Star Bank’s third office expansion in the past seven years. Star Bank opened a new branch office in Eden Prairie in July of 2010 and a new branch office in Annandale in May of 2005.
“We are excited to continue our growth plan
through the acquisition of the Maple Lake office,” said Harry Wahlquist, president and CEO of Star Bank. “I strongly believe in the future of the Maple Lake and Annandale areas and we are very pleased with this opportunity.”
Following seven years of service in the Minnesota Senate, including the role of Majority Leader, Amy Koch decided to go into business as the owner of Maple Lake Bowl and the Pines Bar and Grill, taking ownership on Jan. 1, 2013.
Koch was familiar with the Maple Lake community, due to her experience working with her family’s utility service company in town for several years, as well as her involvement with opening the Maple Lake Library.
“It just seemed like a fun business opportunity,” she said. “The business we owned was a utilities company, but I spent a lot of time waitressing in high school and in college. … Businesses are businesses are businesses. You have some of the same issues. The entire staff stayed on and they’re fantastic. We just need a few more. We’ve been in the process of hiring.”
She has also made other changes, such as adding weekly karaoke and tweaking the menu. In the future, she plans to paint and add a deck for the summer.
“I just want people to come in and see us and give us a chance,” she said.
In February, Pace Industries began offering free medical services for employees and their families at a Health and Wellness Center, staffed by a nurse practitioner with weekly hours.
With no room to expand the physical plant, Travis
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