By Derrick Knutson
North Branch is soon to be “in a pickle” with a new business coming to town.
KWF, Inc., the makers of one of the Minnesota State Fair’s most popular deep-fried culinary fares – the Perfect Pickle – is looking to set up shop in North Branch in the industrial park across from the Bindery.
The city’s Economic Development Authority Executive Director Alan Cottingham said the building will be a 4,500-square-foot facility. KWF bought the property from a private seller.
Cottingham noted the city didn’t use any economic devises to lure the business into North Branch, such as tax increment financing.
“They own the lot, they bought the lot and they’re not asking the city for any help,” he said.
Cottingham added KWF is pursuing contracts with Grand Casino, both the Hinckley and Mille Lacs locations, to serve its fried food at the gambling hot spots.
Currently, KWF is renting property in White Bear Lake, and will likely bring the employees it has there to the new location in North Branch.
If all goes according to plan, Cottingham said construction on the facility could start in the spring.
Council member Joel McPherson, who is one of the two City Council representatives on the EDA, said it’s exciting to have a new business move into the city, especially during an economic downturn.
“They bring a different product,” he said. “They’ve been around for quite a while, at the Minnesota State Fair for more than a decade. It’s very much a good thing to have them coming to town.”