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Craig McEwen and Tracy Frank, Published July 25 2009

Trade Talk: Dakota Specialty Milling turns 40

Fargo-based Dakota Specialty Milling, formerly Roman Meal Milling Co., is 40 years old.

The company got its start locally in 1969 when Tacoma, Wash.-based Roman Meal Co. was looking for a central U.S. location to open a mill.

Roman Meal opened a new mill in Fargo with seven employees.

In 1988, Roman Meal Milling Co. became independent from parent company Roman Meal. Two years later, a new milling facility was built at its current location, 4014 15th Ave. N.

On Jan. 1, 2008, the Fargo company changed its name to Dakota Specialty Milling.

The company produces more than 170 products for more than 70 companies.

Ristreto Coffee & Tea in Fargo shuts down

Ristreto Coffee & Tea of Fargo closed at the end of the business day July 17.

Jerry Stromberg, Ristreto president, said he listed the shop at 4150 40th Ave. S. for sale. There were interested parties, but no offers, he said.

Ristreto was open for five years. The locally owned coffeehouse served specialty coffees, teas, smoothies, lunch, wine and beer.

Many factors led to the closure, namely the economy and weather, Stromberg said.

When he moved his shop from 13th Avenue last year, he ended up having to pay more out of pocket than he expected due to the subprime lending fiasco, he said.

Then with the recession, fewer people bought coffee. He also lost customers with the winter cold snap, flood closures, and a dike that was built in the neighborhood during the flood.

“It got to the point that we weren’t able to catch up,” Stromberg said. “A business like ours is really so dependent on volume of traffic.”

Redstar Guitar closing on Aug. 31

Redstar Guitar, 3005 Main Ave., Fargo, is closing on Aug. 31.

Store owner Troy Salonen said the economy and recent flood resulted in his decision to close the store when his lease ends.

“The whole industry was doing well. Last September it was like a light switch got flipped,” he said. “That’s when it hit here.”

And it didn’t help to be closed for a week during the flood, Salonen said.

A liquidation sale is in progress, he said.

Cultural diversity conference Aug. 11

Cultural Diversity Resources, 303 Roberts St., Fargo, has scheduled its second annual diversity conference from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 11 in the North Dakota State University Memorial Union.Managing Diversity” is targeted at business and organization professionals, educators and the general community.

The conference is held to help them assess diversity needs, build relationships, build commitments and core diversity skills, identify components of a health care cultural competency model and learn more about the growing Hispanic/Latina youths and communities.

For more information or to register, call (701) 526-3000 or go online to www.culturaldiversityresources.org.

United Way invests in new programs

The United Way of Cass-Clay is investing in four new partner programs with dollars raised from the 2009 fundraising campaign.

Youth Court, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, is an alternative to formal court proceedings for youths who have been charged with an offense or are showing concerning behavior.

Volunteers, ages 13 to 18, serve as jurors to decide the disposition of cases where offenders have already admitted their guilt.

Affordable Healthcare Supplies, operated through Project HERO, provides reusable medical equipment and unused supplies to those with a medical need by collecting unwanted items and redistributing them.

The Prescription Assistance Program, offered through the South Central Adult Services Council, advocates on the behalf of clients to access free or reduced-cost medication programs.

The final new investment is in the YWCA Cass Clay’s A Child’s World. The child care center offers care and education for children 6 weeks to 12 years old. Dollars will allow scholarships for children with parents attending college.


Readers can reach Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502

and business reporter Tracy Frank

at (701) 241-5526