Larry Paumen dies from crash injuries

Larry Paumen, 45, a former Maple Lake businessman and lifelong resident of the area, died on Sunday from injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident on April 10.

According to a report from the Wright County Sheriff, Paumen was traveling northbound on County Road 8 when he left the roadway just north of County Road 106 and rolled his 1994 Harley Davidson motorcycle. Emergency personnel from the Maple Lake Fire Department provided emergency treatment and transported Paumen to the Maple Lake High School parking lot, where he was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital.

His wife, Joyce, said she credited the Maple Lake ambulance crew with actions that nearly saved Paumen’s life.  “The measures they had taken were life-saving,” she said. “And he may have lived if it weren’t for other complications.  “But the response from the emergency crew was just amazing. They have really great skills and everyone needs to know how lucky we are to have such skilled people on the job.”

Paumen is survived by Joyce, daughter, Stephanie, parents Orville and Rita Paumen of Maple Lake, grandmother Edna Steman of Maple Lake and his six brothers and sisters, of whom Kevin, Kenny and Jake Paumen live in Maple Lake.

Paumen was a 1976 graduate of Maple Lake High School and a successful businessman who began his career in food and meat preparation at the age of 11 when he worked for a local grocery store.

He brought A-Meat Shoppe to Maple Lake in 1992 as his second store, in addition to a shop in Eden Prairie.

Irene Niedzielski, owner of Roger’s Amoco, worked with Paumen when he wanted to open a Maple Lake store.  “He came to buy the lot next to my store, but I ended up building a building for him,” she said. “He rented from me for three years and then purchased it from me.”

Niedzielski said she and Paumen worked well together.  “We hit it off as really good friends when he came here,” she said. “He had progressive ideas like I did and he wanted to have a top-of-the-line meat shoppe.”

Paumen did just that, winning numerous awards from the American Association of Meat Processors, the Minnesota Meat Processors and the Minnesota State Fair. In addition, his meat products were featured on many occasions by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine and the Star Tribune.

In 2001 Paumen sold his Maple Lake store to LeRoy Draeger and began marketing the Countertop Tumbler, an innovative product he patented that marinates and tenderizes meats. He served as Chairman of the Board of American Gourmet Secret, Inc., which sold his product via the internet, and on the QVC Home Shopping Network. And his product was recently featured on KARE-11 TV.

“He was very optimistic about his vision of his product,” Joyce said. “A lot of major companies were dealing with him. He was in a good place in his life.”

Joyce said Larry’s vision at AGS will be continued, and his enthusiasm for his Harley will be one of the things she hopes others remember fondly about her husband.

“You don’t always get to choose when you go,” she said. “But he was doing something he loved, and for me, there’s a great deal of comfort in that.”

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