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Lincoln Park businesses celebrate Frost River's reopening

Baihly Warfield
Updated: September 24, 2020 05:47 PM

A Lincoln Park business hit a pandemic milestone Thursday, reopening its store after around six months being closed. 

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Frost River Trading Co. used the time to churn out PPE and to renovate its store on W Superior Street. 

"It's been quite the day. Been a lot of fun and been a lot of work up to this point in the sense that we are really excited to open our doors again to the public after going through the summer where we literally were doing construction things but also continuing to make PPE inside the doors here," Proprietor Christian Benson said. 

And their neighbors are celebrating with them. Love Creamery made Frost River-themed ice cream, Bent Paddle put out a "First Frost" beer, and Corktown Deli is offering a wild rice and cranberry sandwich inspired by the bear that is the Frost River store's mascot. 

"Really, we've been doing such great things down here for the last few years, and 2020 has been a challenge, and we are all trying to rise to that occasion and celebrate a great neighborhood," Benson said. 

Benson said online sales supported them while the physical location was closed. They continued to sell Boundary Waters permits throughout and still managed to do some in-person sales. 

"When all of a sudden I realized on Memorial Day that we were going to have a lot of people in town, we went out and bought a 1976 Airstream and said, we're going to put this out on the sidewalk," Benson said. 

They bought new machines are hired more than 50 temporary workers to sew around 5,000 masks a day for local hospitals and others. They also cut plastic for upwards of 300,000 face shields, which Ecolibrium3 volunteers assembled. 

Frost River's store is open again every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but there are no tours of the manufacturing facility. Benson said those will come back later when the time is right. 

The whole experience has taught some lessons, he said. 

"The willingness to listen to people, to be flexible, and just make things happen and be kind to one another." 

Credits

Baihly Warfield

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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