Post Bulletin’s most-read business story of 2021: Winona County dairy farmer packs up and leaves with 245 cows – Rochester Minnesota news, weather, sports

Winona County dairy farmer packs up and leaves with 245 cows: ‘We’re not able to grow anymore’

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Dairy cows feed on the farm previously owned by Parker Byington Thursday, April 8, 2021, at the farm he’d just sold. Byington is moving his operation and a large number of his cattle to Colorado to continue his business, saying Winona County’s animal unit cap played a significant factor in his leaving after moving to the farm south of Lewiston five years ago. (Brian Todd/

With a big portion of his herd packed into livestock trailers, Parker Byington said goodbye to Winona County Thursday, looking forward to what he hopes are more welcoming pastures in Colorado.

Byington, who until recently milked 660 head of cattle at his farm south of Lewiston on Interstate 90 and Wabasha County Road 14, loaded 245 cows onto eight trailers and hauled the animals to their new home out west.

“We are moving west to further our career in dairy there,” Byington said. “With the current regulations (in Winona County), we’re not able to grow anymore.”

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She took their money. She took their pictures. Then a Rochester photographer disappeared

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Many couples have complained about missing photos from one wedding photographer including these six; (clockwise from upper left) Luke and Kim Weiss, Daniel and Kelsea Testa, Savannah and Andrew Dodson, Jessica Riester, Cody and Marissa Wildner, and Allison Niese and her finance, Noah Lane. (Post Bulletin photo illustration, contributed photos)

A wedding is a sacred day. If all goes well, it is cherished and celebrated.

But for one group of couples scattered across the Midwest, a source of emotional and financial strain has emerged from an unexpected quarter: Their wedding photographer.

Nine couples interviewed by the Post Bulletin described how they felt “ghosted” by wedding photographer Lexi Stangler, owner of Rochester-based Ember Lane Collective, after they’d signed a contract and paid her: How phone calls, Facebook messages and text messages sent by them were often met with silence by her.

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It’s a go – Popeyes is officially coming to Rochester

Heard on the Street - Jeff Kiger column sig

The signs were correct — a


 chicken restaurant is officially cooking in Northwest Rochester.

On Monday,

I wrote a column

that looked at a Med City real estate deal and followed the clues to conclude that the Popeyes fast food chain might be coming to Rochester. However, I had no official confirmation.

The Florida-based company cleared up that ambiguity Thursday morning with a short email response to my inquiries.

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Rochester veterinarian makes plea for understanding, civility


Vet Technician Kori Hickey, left, takes x-rays of a dog alongside technician Danyelle Anderson Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, at Animal Health Care Veterinary Hospital in Rochester. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Rochester veterinarian Dr. Christine Vogel thought it was time to speak up.

It wasn’t just the incivility and bad behavior that vet techs and receptionists at veterinary clinics were dealing with from customers, it was the real harm that it was doing to the industry.

“What I joke about with a lot of people is essentially between social media and the notion that the customer is always right, we’ve basically become like Fight Club rules,” said Vogel, owner of Animal Health Care Veterinary Hospital in Rochester. “There are no rules.”

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Victoria’s to get a ‘little sister’ in southwest Rochester


1155 16th St SW is pictured on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Rochester. (Traci Westcott /

A popular Med City Italian restaurant has a younger sibling in the pipeline.

The plan to turn a long-empty southwest Rochester bank into a new eatery called Sorellina’s is in the very early stages.

A building permit was filed with the city this week for the “fit-up of the existing building for a restaurant” in the former Associated Bank/First Federal building at 1155 16th St. SW, just south of the Apache Mall.

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Rochester’s new classic food hall to open its doors Thursday


Andy and Kari Friederichs have been at work in The Workshop, Rochester’s first modern food hall, for months to transform the 1930s industrial building at 1232 Third Ave. SE into a classic, welcoming complex with a historic vibe. They hope to open in June. The classic-style food hall will feature six food vendors, a bar and an old-school men’s barbershop under the same roof.

After months of preparation, the Med City’s new food hall is opening its doors Thursday, July 22.

Andy and Kari Friederichs announced the opening of

The Workshop Food Hall & Bar

at 1232 Third Ave. SE on social media on Wednesday evening, hours before the opening. The Friederiches posted an image with the quote, “In the End We Only Regret the Chance We Didn’t Take.”

The Workshop Food Hall & Bar renovation

has been an undertaking. The thoughts started in 2019 and construction began in March 2020. It’s been a labor of love and one we hope is felt in our community,” they wrote on Facebook. “Repurposing old buildings is our passion. Challenges fuel the fire. We felt this quote to be fitting as we start this new opportunity.”

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Who will get custody of Rochester in the IBM split?

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A while back, it was announced that old Big Blue was going to be split into two companies. What does that mean for remaining IBMers on Rochester’s former IBM campus? Will “mommy” or “daddy” get custody of them? — Blue Gene

Ah, Gene. There’s a lot to unpack in your short questions about Rochester’s former second-largest employer.

First, the “divorce” or division of IBM into two companies has not happened yet. The plan is to make the split by the end of this year.

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Rochester’s Purple Goat expected to open its door by Thursday


Charles Morris, left, general manager of the Purple Goat, and Mark Kranz, co-owner, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, at the Purple Goat in Rochester. The bar and restaurant plans to open next week. Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

The Goat is a go.

Creative Cuisine’s new

Purple Goat Kitchen and Bar

 will start serving up rotisserie chicken and signature cocktails like The Scapegoat in northeast Rochester next week at 3708 U.S. 63 North. It has been built in a 6,700-square-foot space on the west end of the Haley Comfort Systems complex, formerly Shopko North.

General manager Charles Morris and head chef Mark Kranz expect to open the doors to the public at least by Thursday, if not sooner.

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Rochester’s Vanicream ‘killing it’ after 40-year rise


Vanicream skin cream is packaged at Pharmaceutical Specialties Inc., maker of Vanicream, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Rochester. Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Vanicream, a skin cream developed and made in Rochester, is not colorful or sexy, but its sales and production are climbing every year as consumers flock to chemical-free products.

Pharmaceutical Specialties Inc., founded by Rochester pharmacists Conrad Thompson and Edward Mansfield in 1974, introduced Vanicream in 1980. The thick, white skin cream without any fragrances or chemicals is still the company’s top seller more than 40 years later.

However, the type of customers buying Vanicream in blue and white tubs in Target, Walgreens or on Amazon might be changing.

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Rochester car dealership to be demolished and rebuilt


Luther Park Place Motors at 2720 US 52 North submitted a site development plan last week to the City of Rochester, laying out its proposal to demolish the three buildings on its 10 acres, after a new facility is constructed. Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, in Rochester. Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

A longtime Med City car dealership plans to build a new complex of showrooms for its three brands and then demolish its current facility.

Luther Park Place Motors at 2720 US 52 North submitted a site development plan last week to the City of Rochester, laying out its proposal to demolish the three buildings on its 10 acres, after a new facility is constructed.

“This development will enhance the current use of the site and create an aesthetically pleasing business development along a high-traffic and high-visibility corridor in Rochester,” according to the proposal.

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