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Around Town: Small-town bakery for sale

After three years of ownership, Quinn Olson has found that running a small-town bakery is too much for one person to handle. That's why he decided to put the McIntosh Bakery up for sale last week. "I thought I could do it, but it just takes more ...

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After three years of ownership, Quinn Olson has found that running a small-town bakery is too much for one person to handle.

That's why he decided to put the McIntosh Bakery up for sale last week.

"I thought I could do it, but it just takes more people," Olson said. "I love to bake; that's the reason I bought it. If a couple or a family were to buy it, they could totally make it."

The bakery, located in McIntosh, Minn., has been around for decades before Olson owned it, he said. McIntosh is a town of 625 people located about 60 miles southeast of Grand Forks.

"It's really kind of an iconic mom-and-pop bakery," he said. "Everybody who comes there, they come back for the summer and stop in and they all have a story to share."

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Olson said the business makes bread, doughnuts, cakes and other baked goods. He also sells products at the farmers market in Detroit Lakes, Minn., during the summer.

The McIntosh Bakery is only open during warmer months, and Olson said he might open it this year on a more limited basis if he hasn't found a buyer.

"It's a tight-knit community, and people love that bakery," he said.

Ag lending up in 2015

Farm banks increased agricultural lending by almost 8 percent in 2015, according to an American Banking Association report, but declining farm incomes could provide some headwinds.

The ABA's 2015 Farm Bank Performance Report, which was released this week, notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting net farm income will decline to $54.8 billion in 2016, which would be the lowest level since 2002.

But the ABA report argues farm banks are "well-prepared" for a downturn thanks to a strong agricultural sector in recent years. Moreover, the number of noncurrent farm bank loans dropped to a pre-recession level of 0.47 percent of total loans, and more than 97 percent of farm banks were profitable in 2015.

Brian Johnson, the CEO of North Dakota's largest agricultural bank, Choice Financial, appeared to be cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.

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"We hopefully should be able to absorb this downturn and ride it out," he said. "We need to see a bump in commodity prices-minimum 10 percent, realistically 20 percent-for farmers to be profitable in 2016."

New gas station for Crookston

Construction on a gas station and convenience store on Crookston's north end could start this spring.

Casey's General Store is going through "due diligence" before closing on the property at North Broadway and Fisher Avenue, which is just east of Crookston High School, said Craig Hoiseth, executive director of the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority.

"We've had more growth toward the northeast side of town," Hoiseth said. "That's where the growth direction seems to be."

At the end of fiscal year 2015, Casey's had 1,878 corporate stores across the country, according to its annual report.

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