Chisago Lakes Chamber

Serving the Chisago Lakes Community

December 2020 Newsletter

Note From the Chamber Board

Greetings, Chisago Lakes Chamber, and Thank You!

I am grateful for the experiences I’ve had as a director and wish to thank the membership for the opportunity as I step off of the board. When I joined, I had just quit commuting to the city and was after deeper knowledge of the community where we were raising a son and building a business. I found that connection sharing information, accomplishment, brainstorming and to-do lists at Chamber meetings and events. Especially lately, we’ve come to appreciate the value of our “in real life” existence. The Chamber - even in a pandemic - offers those opportunities to its members.

An unexpected benefit of Chamber service was the regular practice of collaboration during years when division seemed to rule the national conversation. On first look, the Chisago Lakes area appears to lack diversity. But we undeniably do hold divergent political and spiritual views. In real life, though, among colleagues and neighbors, and definitely at the Chamber, we sit together and do work we agree about. We agree about a lot, and that is a balm.

Whether we’ve relished it or reluctantly adapted, we’ve all had to make big adjustments in 2020, and the Chamber has been responsive. For her insightful pep talk to local business, see Katie Malchow’s Message in July For encouragement, see Nikki Vodicka’s reflections on Chisago life now from October. At this juncture, members can do their part to keep the Chamber in balance. Here are two ways:

    • Pay your dues, an easy way to show appreciation for the Chamber staff and volunteer board!
    • Do more than dues. If you don’t already, engage with a Chamber project in a way that’s doable for you! Connect with staff or a board member for more information on how to do this.

Our board meetings start with shared wins, and I’d like to share here that Al’s Saloon in Center City will celebrate 21 years in business this New Years Eve. Thank you for that, too, Chisago Lakes.

I can’t wait to see how we all meet the challenges of 2021!

Susan Clayton

Al’s Center Saloon

Alan Honn Glass

Chamber News & Events!

  • Chamber Board Meeting - Thursday, December 3rd 3:30-5:00pm
  • Chamber Annual Meeting - Thursday, December 10th 6:00pm-7:00pm
  • Newsletter Deadline: 25th of every month
  • Newsflash Deadline: Every Monday

Chamber Annual Meeting

Chisago Lakes Chamber Annual Meeting

Thursday, December 10th 6:00pm-7:00pm Zoom Event

The Board of Directors of the Chisago Lakes Chamber would like to invite you to our Annual Meeting. Due to the ongoing circumstances that limit our ability to gather, the 2020 meeting will happen via Zoom. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, December 10th at 6:00pm.

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 838 1675 9828 Passcode: kxA5Kx

  • 6:00pm: Call to Order & Opening Remarks by Susan Clayton-President
  • 6:10pm: Reports/Event Updates by Marlys Dunne-Treasurer & Katie Malchow-Chamber Director
  • 6:30pm: Chamber Board Member Positions
  • 6:45pm: 2021 Initiatives/Goals
  • 7:00pm: Adjourn

Broadband Survey

The Chisago Lakes Chamber is analyzing the current broadband landscape in our area. The data obtained from the community survey and speed test will be a giant step towards universal broadband internet in the Chisago Lakes area. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and do a speed test to measure your current internet speed.

Those who participate by December 14th have a chance to win a $100 gift card to Brinks Grocery or Carlson BP in Lindstrom!

Thank you for participating in this critical initiative! Go to and take the survey today!

Ted Talks

The New American Dream by Courtney E. Martin

(Click Here)

As we look towards closing out 2020, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if I’ve made the most of the unexpected gifts from this year. Closing up, shutting down, economic uncertainty are a few of the negatives we’ve experienced. But we’ve also been given great opportunity to look at our traditions, our “best” practices, our routines and ask ourselves if we are doing this “right.” I found this TED Talk to be enlightening and thought provoking. I hope you do too..

Franconia Sculpture Park

Franconia Virtual Dinner - Tuesday, January 12th 6:00pm

Franconia Sculpture Park is pleased to present "Andrew Erdos: The Flash of Silver Breaths on the Wing of the Sky", opening January 16th in the Mardag Gallery at Franconia Commons. Taking its name from Joy Harjo’s 1989 Secrets from the Center of the World, Erdos’ solo exhibition explores themes of geological time, industrial ruin, infinite space, and the horizon.

Franconia’s longstanding “Dinner & Discussion” lecture series invites the community to engage with visiting artists in a fun and informal setting. Please join us from the comfort of your own home and send your questions for Andrew through Facebook Live! Attend via Facebook Live ONLY, please!

Opening Reception for Andrew Erdos: The Flash of Silver Breaths on the Wing of the Sky - Saturday, January 16th 4:00pm-6:00pm

During the opening, Erdos will create a new, outdoor sculpture covered in 2000 degree liquid aluminum that will be on display at Franconia through 2022. Please join us around the fire pit of Franconia Commons for heavy metal music and molten metal art as Erdos creates this new work, assisted by local artists. Andrew Erdos: The Flash of Silver Breaths on the Wing of the Sky will run until April 11, 2021.

Art Classes @ Franconia Commons

Please join Franconia Sculpture Park as we launch a new series of monthly, 3-hour artmaking workshops for students of all ages and skills in the Driscoll Education Center at Franconia Commons. Whether you're 7 or 70, these workshops are designed for you to explore your creativity and learn more about various sculptural techniques from top contemporary artists in a fun, safe, and supportive setting. Sign up for the class that speaks to you or enroll in all six for a series discount!

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all classes will require participants to wear masks and socially-distance. Franconia Commons has excellent ventilation and will uphold the strictest health standards for the safety of our artists and students.

All classes are held on Saturdays from 1pm-4pm and cost $30/each, including all art supplies. Full series is $150. If you'd like to enroll in the full six class series, please call 651.257.6668 to register and receive the discounted rate.

First up:

January 30: Kinetic Sculpture with Samantha Leopold-Sullivan
Samantha Leopold-Sullivan holds an MFA in sculpture from Alfred University and a BA in Studio Art from Macalester College. Sam will guide students in creating their very own windchime, mobile, or kinetic sculpture they can take home, using a variety of materials. Students are encouraged to bring their own keepsakes they may want to incorporate into their final piece.

Coming up:

February 27: Mixed-Media Collages & Combine Sculptures with Preston Drum
March 27: Abstract Clay Sculptures with Erin Paradis
April 17: Birdhouses, Batboxes, and Beeboxes with Don Porcella
May 29: Soft Sculpture with Allison Baker
June 12: Sound Sculpture with Lee Noble

29836 St. Croix Trail, Shafer 651-257-6668

M Health Fairview

Virtual Programming with Community Health and Innovation

Upcoming Mental Health First Aid trainings.

Early registration is suggested as space is limited.

  • Psychological First Aid - Tuesday, December 1st 8:00pm-9:30pm
  • Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed training for all community members and professionals. Trainees will learn how to support healthy recovery in individuals following a traumatic event, public health emergency, natural disaster, or personal crisis. The curriculum integrates public health, community health and individual psychology by drawing upon skills the trainees probably already have. PFA is a 90-minute training. The goal of PFA is to teach trainees how to reduce distress and negative health behaviors by providing practical help and promote resilience. Register HERE

  • Mental Health First Aid - Thursday, December 10th 12:30pm-5:00pm
  • Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) introduces the risk factors and warning signs of common mental health and substance use disorders, builds understanding of their impact, and reviews support options. The interactive course teaches participants how to offer initial help to an individual who may be experiencing a mental health concern or crisis and connect them to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-care resources. MHFA is currently being offered in a hybrid format of two hours of self-study and four and a half hours of live virtual group learning. Register HERE

Eichtens Cheese Factory

> Holiday Ordering - through December 2nd

Order online at Discount 15% off order with Code: Holiday20. Order now and ship later. Covid-19 related shipping delays may occur, please order early.

> Eichtens Cheese, Specialty Foods and Gifts Pop Up Markets right on the Farm

16809 310th Street, Center City 651-257-4752

Come out to Eichtens Cheese Factory and enjoy shopping for cheeses, specialty foods and gifts. Many premade gifts to select from our custom make your own specialty gift. Enter the north side of building-shipping dock.

We ship nationwide. Covid-19 related shipping delays may occur, please order early.

Picket Fence Gals

Picket Fence Gals Sale December 2nd-6th

Wednesday 3:00-7:00pm

Thursday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm

Sunday 11:00am-4:00pm

A large Victorian 2-story house filled with affordable, everchanging items. Find antiques & vintage items, painted furniture, garden items, home & cabin decor, re-purposed items, textiles and so much more! Please know that the health and safety of our customers is our #1 concern, therefore we have the following guidelines.

> One entrance-one exit

> Indoor and outdoor registers each day, weather permitting

> Must wear a mask in buildings, and masks are strongly suggested in the yard

> Social distancing

> Hand washing machine available at exit. Hand sanitizer at all checkouts

13075 Lake Blvd, Lindstrom

Almelund Mercantile


December 3rd, 4th, 5th

Scandinavian and vintage goods, local maple syrup, cards! Weekends Friday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, Sundays 10:30am-5:00pm 15790 Maple Lane, Almelund

Pleasant Valley Orchard


December 3rd, 4th & 5th 10:00am-4:00pm

It's our last three days of the 2020 season! Plan to stock up on your favorite apples, bakery and treats!

We've got specials throughout the store on many items. And if you haven't explored our fun and unique Christmas gifts, now's the perfect time!

The weather forecast looks great, so take a few minutes to walk the nature trail and enjoy the quiet of the orchard pre-winter season.

Apples available: Honeycrisp, SweeTango™, Haralson, Fireside, Honeygold, and Keepsake!

Get a bushel (approx. 40 lbs) of Haralson and SweeTango™ 2nds, for just $40!! 17325 Pleasant Valley Road, Shafer 651-257-9159

Gustaf's On Main Eatery


Saturday, December 5th 11:00am-3:00pm

Join us at the historic Gustaf Anderson house known as Gustaf's On Main Eatery for a "mini-mart" of high quality items to shop from. This retail boutique is only one day.

An eclectic experience!! Products will include kitchen items, bags & purses, jewelry, facial products, personal care, natural cleaning, nails, essential oils, crafters, plus more. Local small Business experts in their product lines will be on hand to help you find the perfect item for you or someone you want to share with. Social distancing will be adhered to and masks requested.

The eatery will be open for takeout from 9AM-4PM.

13045 Lake Blvd, Lindstrom 651-263-0737

Lindstrom's Lighting Festival

Tree Lighting Festival

Saturday, December 5th 4:30-6:30pm

Come for a Santa Drive-By and drop a letter into Santa's mailbox with your Christmas wishes. Turn East onto Newell from Olinda Trail to begin your drive-by. No walk-ups please.

You will receive a goody bag (While supplies last) with coupons, candy, candy canes & cocoa, a coloring sheet , and a take-home ornament making kit! A Scavenger Hunt Card from Downtown businesses will also be included!

The High School Brass Ensemble will start playing at 4:30pm and other Christmas music will be played throughout the event.

Chisago City Lighting Festival


Sunday, December 6th 4:30pm-6:00pm

Come light up Moberg Park! This is a COVID responsible event. Sleigh rides, snacks, toy and food collection. Santa will be in a window while kids tell Rudolph all their Christmas wishes! Also bring your Santa letters with a stamped and addressed envelope!

First United Methodist Church


Saturday, December 19th 6:00pm-8:00pm

First United Methodist Church 30828 Irene Ave, Lindstrom

Join us for our Eighth Annual Living Nativity! This year will be a bit different, with a DRIVE THROUGH NATIVITY. Grab some Christmas treats and blankets and drive through to experience different scenes from the Christmas Story. No need to even get out of your car.

This has become an annual event for many families, we wanted to continue the tradition this year. The event is FREE.

D-Lighted Designs

D-Lighted Designs 651-278-3715

> Personalized LED Light Lamp-MN Mini

Half the size of the standard size designs and WIRELESS! Can turn on/change colors with the touch of a finger, or use the remote that comes included. Choose between 5 wildcat designs (football, baseball, basketball, hockey, Class of 2020) which can each be customized with names/numbers....OR the Chisago lake map design that can be Customized with choice of text as well. They stand about 8 inches tall.

PRICING: (Free personalization)

  • 1 = $35
  • 2-4 = $25/piece
  • 5-10 = $20/piece
  • 10+ = $18/piece

> Personalized LED Light Stand Lamp.. Standard size

Standing roughly 17 inches tall and comes with LED light stand that is 100% HANDMADE. Customer gets choice of single color light stand or for additional charge comes with color change remote lights that has a ton of different functions including music mode that changes colors to the noise around the design. These are powered with a small adapter that is included and design options are the same as the "MN mini" listed above.

PRICING: (Free personalization)

  • 1 = $125
  • 2-4 = $99
  • 5-10 = $79
  • 10+ = $69

> Personalized Chisago Lake Map & Cribbage Boards

Handmade pine frame with built in LED lights. Cut and engraved from 1/4 acrylic these cribbage board can be personalized with last names or text. There's a few different options and sizing for this style. One is just the actual cribbage board itself... With 2 different sizes/shapes. The other is the board + custom framed with LED lights.

PRICING: (Free personalization)

  • Style 1 = $45..."MN shape cribbage board" 12 inches tall
  • Style 2 = $75... Lake map board 13*13 inches
  • Style 3 = $250... Measures 18*18 with the wooden frame

Anonymous Santa


Distribution dates are December 16th, 17th, and 18th

Application deadline is Friday December 4th. 2020 Application

Volunteers are needed:
  • Sunday December 13th for unloading the semi from 12:00pm until done (all ages are allowed).
  • December 14th and 15th (all ages) 8:00am- 6:00pm (potentially later)
  • December 16th, 17th, and 18th (19+ Only) 8:30am-8:30pm.
  • December 19th 9am until done (all ages)
Phone number people can reach us at is 651-983-0496. Our website is

Gustaf's Up North Gallery

  • Love Lindstrom Reward Cards - Through December 22nd
  • We're teaming up with other downtown Lindstrom businesses this holiday season to give you rewards for shopping small! Pick up a free punch card at any participating business and turn it in by 5:00pm on December 22nd. Visit participating businesses to get stamps on your card. When you earn stamps, you are entered to win prizes valued at $10, $25, $50 and $100 from local businesses! Winners will be announced on Facebook on December 22nd.

  • Virtual Shopping
  • Want to shop the gallery from the comfort of your home? We have great options for you! Shop on our website or call the gallery to shop virtually via Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts. Let us help you find the perfect gifts this holiday season! 651-257-1821 Website

  • Holiday Hours: Christmas Eve: 10:00am-2:00pm & Christmas Day: Closed
  • After Christmas Sale - December 26th-January 9th
  • Our annual After Christmas Sale is coming! Deals will be announced a few days before the sale starts. Like us on Facebook to get updates on sales and events! Facebook Page

13025 Lake Blvd, Lindstrom 651-257-1821

Bachman's Photography

Need a gift for that special someone? Want Portraits of your own family? We are offering $25 Gift Certificates for only $20.00, no limit. Buy them for that person who has everything or for yourself for a Christmas treat!

13000 Sylvan Ave, Lindstrom 651-257-9380

Chisago Lakes Grill

Chisago Lakes Grill

12975 292nd Street, Lindstrom 651-257-0973 Website

Tuesday-Friday 4:00pm-8:00pm, Saturday-Sunday 12:00-8:00pm

We appreciate your support during the shut-down. Even though you can't dine-in, we still have a lot to offer. Many specials to choose from and a great menu! We offer Curbside-To-Go & also Delivery. Gift Cards make a great Holiday Gift! Give us a call and we can help you out!


Share Some Local Flavor this Season!

Open Daily from 10:00am-5:00pm or check out our new website Use the coupon code "Gift" to get 15% off purchases of 3 bottles or more and $1.00 shipping until Christmas! 10020 Deer Garden Lane, Chisago City 651-257-1017

Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours Gift Certificate

Gift Certificates make a great Christmas Present. Order yours on our website at Taylors Falls Boat Tours

Country Bed & Breakfast

Swedish Cardamom Bread for the Upcoming Holidays from Country Bed & Breakfast

God Jul to everyone. That's Merry Christmas in Swedish. I'm keeping up my yearly tradition and baking loaves of Swedish Cardamom bread. You can call or email me and order a half loaf for $7.50, or a whole loaf for $15.00, then come to my house to pick it up on the day you want it. Deck-side Delivery, safe for all of us. I would also consider delivery to you if you're local and close to my place. The loaves can also be frozen, ask me about that. Remember, I use real Cardamom seed from Sweden. My Swedish relatives mail it to me every year. My phone: 651-257-4773. My email: Merry Christmas, Sally Barott, 17038 320th St., Shafer, MN 55074 website:

Taylors Falls Canoe & Kayak Rental

Gift Certificates make a great Christmas Present. Order yours on our website at Taylors Falls Canoe & Kayak Rental

Heartland Express

The team at Heartland Express understands that during these uncertain times, finding safe and reliable transportation can sometimes be difficult. We strive to be a good community partner and want to make sure that everyone is able to utilize our services for their transportation needs.

As a result, we are happy to announce that we will not be charging for ANY rides for the remainder of 2020. Whether you're going to work, school, shopping, a medical appointment, or just to visit family and friends, Heartland Express will give you a free ride through December 31, 2020! Call 651-213-5790

Family Pathways


Opportunities for individuals and groups available! This is a great way to give back, support your community and meet new friends. Contact Brook Zank-Volunteer Manager at 651-674-8040. Call or go to to fill out an application.

Empire Insurance Group



Customer Service Specialist - Job Location: Lindstrom, MN

Position will be primarily responsible for desk & service duties including greeting clients, claims handling, policy issuance, coverage comparisons & reviews, scanning & filing, phone work, billing/ accounting, organization, reporting, marketing, information gathering, data-entry and other customer service/clerical tasks. Prime candidates will include the following skill sets: Detail-oriented, neat handwriting, general office and Microsoft Word/Excel experience, friendly & personable, positive attitude & ability to multi-task. Insurance experience not required. Team environment. This is a great entry level opportunity to work your way up in an insurance agency setting. Part-time or Full-time hourly options available.

Commercial Insurance CSR Job Location: North Branch, MN

Position will be responsible for Commercial Lines new and renewal business quoting & servicing, billing & issuance, claims, networking and policy changes. Empire provides lucrative compensation packages for those candidates who provide greater experience qualifications. Must be friendly & personable, positive attitude & ability to multi-task. Insurance experience & insurance licensing in MN is required. Team environment.

Compensation Full-Time Benefits Include: Salary Range is Dependent on Experience, Uncapped Company Bonuses & Incentives, Health Insurance + HSA Dental, Simple IRA Matching Plan PTO + Company Holidays, Continuing Education & Licensing Available.

Applicant must include a resume & cover letter.

After submission, applicant must complete the skills assessment

sent from Indeed for consideration.

Apply Directly On Indeed:

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