The hardware sign above the incubator space storefront won’t quite fit the newest business, though that was never the goal of the Wadena Development Authority in their process of renovating and offering a quality space for a new business.
The Taste of Colombia is the newest business offering treats downtown with plenty of options to come from candy to coffee and frozen items as well as copying, scanning and sending money orders to South America. Sisters Gladys Kanis and Miriam Miller are excited to share pieces of their Colombian culture with the community.
Kanis and Miller plan to have products like empanadas and pandebono frozen and fresh for people to sample before buying as well as candy, chocolate and coffee.
“For us, it’s very important everybody try the delicious coffee from Colombia,” Kanis said.
Wadena Economic Development Director Dean Uselman said the business adds to the “great mix” of businesses downtown.
“I think the Taste of Colombia will build on what we’ve already got with many of the boutiques and the great downtown we’ve got,” Uselman said.
With many ideas on different products to offer, they hope all people will enjoy the Colombian food, not just Latin Americans.
“We wait for what is the suggestion for all customers and also we try to get all service for the customers,” Kanis said.
Over the past year, local contractors and the Todd-Wadena Community Corrections Sentence to Serve work crews renovated the incubator space from preserving the “HARDWARE” sign to sandblasting the brick and sandstone and adding new windows in the upper portion. Uselman said without the STS crews the project would have been “financially unfeasible.” The space slowly garnered interest after the Development Authority took on the project, including four other businesses in February, according to Uselman.
With the goal of the Development Authority accomplished for this incubator space, Uselman said the board has not decided on future spaces but that lots in the industrial park could be next.
“There’s possibility that we may see some others but we’re kind of running out of storefronts in downtown Wadena. The empty ones are filling up and so that’s really great news,” Uselman said.
The Taste of Colombia is at 206 S Jefferson St. and will open near the beginning of November.