SERVPRO moves operations to Pine River
Former Pine River Carpet building will host equipment and a leasable retail space
PINE RIVER — SERVPRO of Brainerd and Park Rapids, formerly located in Pequot Lakes, is now in the former Pine River Carpet building.
Since September 2022, Emalee and Sam Hedberg have owned the local SERVPRO branch after purchasing the company from Emalee's parents, Greg and Laura Arends.
The Pine River-Backus High School graduates have now made a big move for their company, from a much smaller lease space in Pequot Lakes to a much larger property, which they own, in Pine River.
"I started working with Steve (Norman, Pine River Carpet owner) a little bit about what his plans were when he planned on retiring," Sam said. "I'd been in this building and thought it would be a good location, so we were kind of having that conversation since early summer. Then Steve had his heart attack and it kind of expedited that process."
Norman suffered a heart attack Dec. 4, which prompted his family to encourage him to retire and sell the property and stock. The auction for the stock concluded Jan. 22.
The Hedbergs closed on the property Wednesday, Feb. 15. They wasted no time as their contractor had a cancellation and could start working on reframing their spaces that week.
We're all about being a part of the community we grew up in.
By Friday that week, new walls were already going up in one half of the building.
Operations moved to the Pine River building immediately, with office work taking place on the side of the building that will eventually be open for lease by another business. Once construction is done, that operation will move to the other half of the building.
"We're hoping to lease it out and have something available to the community for another business in town," Sam said.
"We're putting up temporary office space while we remodel our side," Emalee said. "Our offices will be framed in and we'll get our equipment moved in ... Then as soon as our offices are set up, we're going to start working on remodeling and freshening up our retail space."
A lot of work will need to be done on the building, including installation of a much larger garage door on the back side of the building and framing in the basement, which will include closed-off space for whoever leases the other half of the building.
We've got a lot of Pine River graduates that already work on our staff. There's a number of people that live here, so we hope to provide more jobs to the community
The new building offers a much needed expansion. The owners have yet to decide what much of the basement will be used for, though part of it likely will be used for storage of building contents.
"Let's say someone has a fire," Sam said. "We'll bring the contents here and clean and store them."
The local branch of SERVPRO has seven vehicles in their fleet. Sam hopes they will be able to park six of those vehicles inside the building along with the equipment they use for their job.
"This is a much bigger square footage," Sam said.
The larger space may enable the couple to add to their service offerings.
"If someone has a flood in their basement, we can come in and dry things out," Sam said. "We'll rip out drywall, flooring and materials like that. Our goal for the next year is to add reconstruction to our services so we can be a one-stop shop."
Those expansions could include an expansion in the workforce. They currently have 14-15 employees.
"As we add those services, that will continue to grow our staff," Sam said. "We've got a lot of Pine River graduates that already work on our staff. There's a number of people that live here, so we hope to provide more jobs to the community."
SERVPRO provides remediation for fire, water and mold damage as well as specialty cleaning. Specialty cleaning includes biohazard cleaning.
The company services properties north of Walker to south of Little Falls, west to Park Rapids and east to Remer.
"It's about an hour and 15 minute radius that we cover," Sam said.
The couple is excited to start working out of their hometown. Emalee is the newest member of the Pine River Chamber of Commerce.
"We grew up in Pine River," Sam said. "We're really excited to be on the main drag on Barclay Avenue offering more jobs in the area. That's something we're really excited about."
"We're all about being a part of the community we grew up in," Emalee said.
Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or email@example.com.