August 2, 2012 at 8:24 a.m.
If you happen to drive through Shafer, or should we say, attempt to drive through Shafer, you would have noticed the Highway 8 road construction. As in most towns in Minnesota, summer can only mean one thing, road construction. And as we all know, Lindstrom, Center City and Chisago City have all been affected by this seasonal disorder. While Lindstrom is the most severe of cases, each town has been struggling with their own construction pains which ultimately affects the bottom line of most businesses. In Shafer, there is a movement to combat summer road construction blues.
There is a concerted effort to draw people to the area instead of ushering them around the outskirts of town. That movement is being spearheaded by the Eichten family. The Eichtens have long been a staple of the community as well as a main player in the local business world. While the shut-down of Highway 8 is only scheduled for three weeks, the good folks that run Eichtens do not want to sit on their laurels. They have implemented a construction voucher that allows customers to receive 15 percent off their next purchase. On top of that, they are giving out a free cheese wedge to customers that use the voucher. The special will run through August. The Eichtens feel that Shafer is an important part of Chisago Lakes and it anchors one end of Highway 8.
They would like to point out that the detour drivers will be asked to take is in fact quite historic. Beginning with the Chisago Lake Lutheran Church, many of you know it was featured in the movie “Grumpy Old Men”. The detour winds you along County Road 37, where you will be treated to sights of buffalo roaming. After a right turn, drivers will enter the downtown district of Shafer. Shafer has one of the most historic buildings in Chisago County - The Creamery Building. Along with the Creamery, folks are encouraged to stop at one of the great restaurants in town for a bite to eat. Eichten’s is quick to point out that Pleasant Valley Orchard is open for business and is harvesting apples as we speak. Eichtens, as well as most Shafer businesses have agreed to stay open during construction. This is a true testament to community commitment. Eichten’s Market and Bistro is even offering free delivery to local businesses who order $20 or more of lunch items. Eichten’s is also offering in-house cheese specials where a different cheese is highlighted every day. While there, you are encouraged to sign up for a $50 gift certificate. If you are one of those who believe in supporting local businesses, Eichtens is as local as it gets. They have been making and selling cheese in Shafer for decades. Eichtens is now on the third generation to run the business. They employ 55 local residents in both the cheese factory and the restaurant. If you have been to any farmers markets such as Minneapolis or St. Paul, you definitely have seen Eichten’s products there. They currently attend nine markets each week and have been doing so for 33 years. Nationally known and in your backyard.
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