By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, MN Many residents have been asking about the status of One Sky Thrift Store in Howard Lake recently, according to owners Jennifer and Jeremy Ryks.
As many residents have noticed, there is a for sale sign in the window of the store.
The Ryks lease the store from the building owner, who has had the building listed for sale for more than three years, according to Jeremy.
“Previously, the building was ‘for sale by owner,’ he just decided to work with a Realtor now,” Jeremy said.
The Ryks have a lease through June 2014, and are hoping to increase business enough to extend their lease, they said.
“Business has been slow, and it is struggling financially, but we are working on new ideas to stir up customers,” Jennifer commented.
A truckload of brand new items was delivered to the store last week, according to Jeremy.
The load contained toys, household products, sporting goods, electronics, tools, and cosmetics, all from a store liquidation.
The Ryks are hoping the new items will bring in more customers, and keep the current customers interested in the store.
“We love to have this available for Howard Lake residents, so they don’t have to drive to Buffalo or Hutchinson for items,” Jeremy said.
There have not been any prospective buyers to the best of their knowledge, according to Jennifer.
If a person buys the building, it will be at their discretion to allow the Ryks to continue leasing the space.
“We love Howard Lake, and would love to keep One Sky here,” Jennifer stated.
One Sky is also a place where students from the Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP) volunteer.
STEP is a transitional program, in which the students learn life skills that will be necessary when they become adults.
“The STEP kids love helping out here,” Jeremy said. “We would hate to see them lose the opportunity.”
“We love the STEP kids coming here to help us, they do a great job,” Jennifer added.