Howard Lake Herald, December 1, 1997

New liquor store manager used to vacation here


"I went to see the old Timbers Resort, but it was gone," said Ruth Voight of Arlington.

Voight was chosen from a long list of candidates by the Howard Lake City Council as manager for the Howard Lake Municipal Liquor Store Nov. 18.

She is no stranger to the area. She and her family used to vacation at the Timbers Resort, when her three children were young.

The old resort lodge remains as the dining area and fireplace in the Garden Spot Inn.

They would rent a pontoon for five women and a bunch of kids and go fishing, said Voight.

"I've shopped at Ittel's and eaten at Red's Family Restaurant," she said. So, Voight is familiar with Howard Lake from years ago.

Howard Lake is where they fished, but Arlington is where Voight grew up and raised her family.

"I was widowed 14 years ago, and I had to raise the kids by myself," she said. The oldest boy was 16 and helped quite a bit.

"I chose to raise my kids in a farm home, rather than in town. It was a good choice," Voight said.

In her free time, she likes to read and spend lots of time with her family.

They enjoy boating, fishing, snowmobiling and just about anything else "outdoorsy," she said.

It was a bit cold, but Voight has already checked out the Greens golf course.

She considers shopping a sport and does it as often as she can with her daughter and daughters-in-law.

Time spent with her family includes a standing invitation for Sunday dinner.

Sometimes everyone shows up; sometimes just a few come, but there is always enough food to go around.

She is good at fixing lots of food, because Voight had her own catering business for three years.

As her main job, Voight worked at the Arlington Municipal Liquor Store for 17 years, and she managed it for nine of those years.

The situation in Arlington with the handicapped inaccessibility problems in the liquor store finally resulted in the store being sold to a private party, said Voight.

She spotted the Howard Lake ad in the circular put out by the Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association, and it was closer than any other job she had seen.

Voight said she has raised her children and plans to make a life for herself, now. So moving to Howard Lake is not out of the question six months down the line.

"I already have someone who wants to purchase my house," she said.

Commuting will be a little stressful for the first few weeks. Voight said she likes to be really organized, and the liquor store isn't organized at all right now.

At the last Howard Lake City Council meeting, Councilwoman Jean Schmidt laughed, "We told you it was a mess."

"I didn't think it would be this bad," responded Voight.

She said she spent her first two weeks organizing the inventory, rearranging the shelves, meeting with the employees, and trying to figure out the previous manager's pricing system.

"I want to get behind the bar and work a little bit," she said. Voight wants to get to know the customers as soon as she can.

"I want all these people to think this is a nice place to come to relax and enjoy themselves," Voight said.

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