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St. Maries Couple Converts Supermarket To Minimall

Wed., Jan. 17, 1996

Hats off to Gary and Vanessa Edwards of St. Maries, who have turned a white elephant - the old Safeway store - into a commercial success called North Idaho Companies.

The Edwards’ and their daughter Vanessa bought and completely remodeled the place into the home of eight businesses.

The grand opening is Friday, at 201 N. 8th St., with Jim Hawkins, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, speaking at 10:30. The public is welcome to the event, which includes a tour.

St. Maries natives, the Edwards’ rolled with the punches when their sawmill, Edwards Forest Industries, went out of business. So they bought the old Safeway and started the remodeling and marketing processes over a year ago.

Now they have a place that’s 100 percent occupied.

The Edwards own and operate three of the businesses, including The Grub Box, a soup, sandwich, espresso and pie cafe; the Sports Arena, a full-range sporting goods store with indoor archery range; and North Idaho Tours, a licensed outfitter business offering snowmobile tours along the St. Joe River.

Other businesses in the North Idaho Companies facility are: Mountain States Glass, an auto glass repair business operated by Kirk and Mike Hill; Delphine’s Dollar Deals, a dollar variety store owned by Joe Ashby; Dundas Specialties, a carpet and linoleum store owned by Gene and Judy Dundas; Renfrow TV & Electric, a service facility owned by Rick Renfrow; G-Bar-D Custom Boots, a custom boot and shoemaking business owned by Dave and Gail Resser, and Renaldo & Howe Land Surveyors, owned by Chris Renaldo and John Howe.

Another new carpet and linoleum (and hardwood, ceramic tile, window covering and wallpaper) store is Fairway Floor & Design, opening in a new 8,000-square-foot building in the northeast corner of 16th Avenue and Highway 41, Post Falls.

Owner Art Trenkle moved the business from a store of about 600 square feet on Fourth Street in Coeur d’Alene. About a third of the new store is showroom, and the rest is warehouse. The business includes service and repair of carpet, vinyl and tile.

Trenkle’s children - sons Rick and Ron Trenkle, daughter Diane Hickerson, and stepson Gary Frost - help with the business. His ace salesman is Ron Moore. A Long Island, N.Y., native, Trenkle came to North Idaho 20 years ago via Thousand Oaks, Calif. He’s been in the flooring business for nearly 40 years.

Idaho Gift Co., featuring decorative, collector and craft products, has opened in Silver Lake Mall. The store specializes in Idaho products and souvenirs, especially regarding huckleberries, and crafts sold by consignment.

Owners Martin and Shirley Petersen of St. Maries also own Talkin’ Tees Custom Shirts at 312 Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene. Their 1,400-square-foot Silver Lake Mall store previously was the Pretty in Blue shop.

The American Express financial services company has return to Coeur d’Alene after a five-year absence.

Bill Wermager and Tom Greene have opened their American Express Financial Advisors’ office in Suite 2 at 2190 Ironwood Center Drive, west of the Panhandle Health Business and across I-90 from the Shilo Inn.

Wermager came to the Inland Northwest from Minneapolis, while Greene transferred from the Spokane regional office.

Dragstedt Business Services is a new North Idaho business offering automated payroll processing, bookkeeping and tax preparation.

Owner E. Spence Dragstedt of Hayden utilizes a Paymaster Center for automated payroll processing, including time and attendance tracking and electronic data transfer.

Dragstedt is a native of Missoula, where his family owned Dragstedt’s Mens Clothing stores. He has owned various businesses in the Inland Northwest and has provided business services for five years. For information phone 666-1185.

It’s practically amusing to see the adjustments made by existing businesses when new competitors come to town.

Such is the case with two Coeur d’Alene nursing homes remodeling and adding new therapy units as Life Care Center gets ready to open.

And it’s fun to see Tidyman’s and Super 1 Foods prettying their entrances as the new Safeway prepares for its opening.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Nils Rosdahl The Spokesman-Review

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