How Target Field helps small local businesses thrive
The grass is freshly cut, the pitchers are warming up on the mound, and fans are quickly filling the seats at Target Field. In other words, baseball season is in full swing. Last year Target Field drew more than 2.7 million people out to watch the beloved Minnesota Twins, but the baseball club isn't the only one benefitting from a new stadium and droves of fans. Here's a look at five local businesses that fall under the umbrella of the Target Field ecosystem.
CONCESSION STAND OPERATOR
Mike Gordienko, co-owner of Kramarczuk's Sausage
Serving up Polish and Hungarian sausages for more than 50 years, this Eastern European deli — and winner of a 2013 James Beard Classic Award — has been selling its brats and sausages to Twins fans since the stadium opened. Kramarczuk's was thrilled at the opportunity to work with Target Field, and the sausages were such a hit that the local deli had to add carts during its first year of operation.
On gaining exposure:
"We wanted to sell at Target Field to give us some exposure — people could have a brat there and then, hopefully, would come to the store. We've seen the traffic come through after games, and us being so close [to the stadium] makes it really convenient for delivering everything."
Paul Abdo, co-owner of Homer Blanky
The idea for Homer Blanky was born three years ago during game 163 (one of the last in the Metrodome) as a nod to the upcoming season of outdoor baseball at Target Field. A group of eight friends turned their passion for baseball into a business by creating a fleece blanket adorned with a picture of a baseball diamond over the state of Minnesota, designed for fans to use at those chilly outdoor baseball games.
On why fans love Target Field:
"Minnesota Twins fans will always be the same. However, having a modernized outdoor stadium gives people a reason to get excited about attending a game. It is officially an experience rather than just going to see a game. Plus, with the unpredictability of the weather, it makes it that much more fun."
Omar Ansari, founder and president of Surly Brewing Co.
Surly Brewing Co. returns to Target Field for its second year, pouring fan favorites like Furious, Bender, and Hell to Start. Founder Omar Ansari saw selling at Target Field as a great way to get in front of people, and even brewed an exclusive West Coast IPA — Bandwagon — for its inaugural season at the stadium. This year, Surly added more Furious taps and is selling a variety of canned brews, too. Cheers!
On wanting to sell at the field:
"I think any brewer would want their beer served at their local ballpark. I remember watching the Twins at the Metrodome when I started Surly in 2006, and I would drink a Schell's or a Summit there and think how great it would be if my beer was being served to Twins fans, too."
SEAT REPAIR SPECIALIST
Dennis Stachowski, owner of ColorGlo International
After millions of die-hard fans cheer their hearts out at Twins games each year, someone has to make sure the seats stay in top condition. Dennis Stachowski of ColorGlo International comes to Target Field three to four times each season to repair the seats, working on 25 to 30 cushions each time. Stachowski started his upholstery repair company in 2002 after being laid off from a career in welding and says Target Field has helped him increase his all-around sales.
On business gained:
"Target Field originally contacted me when they found several seats that had been damaged. ColorGlo provides a low-cost alternative to having the seats reupholstered. There are some leather seats at Target Field that will need repairs at some point, and we will be able to restore those, too."
Jackson Hall, vice president of General Security Services Corporation
Since the construction stages of the stadium, General Security Services Corporation has been providing security services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it continues to value the relationship it's built with the Minnesota Twins organization. The Minneapolis-based company has 19 full-time staff working at the stadium at all times, and 25 on game days.
On the importance of safety:
"The Twins are extremely concerned with the safety of their fans. Since 9/11, there has been a heightened sense for terroristic threats, and we have increased the coordination of communications and response, along with video monitoring and recording of areas in and around Target Field."