Featuring Our Own:
(Chamber A -Z)
Benning Printing & Publishing, Inc.
Independent News Herald, Verndale Sun, Todd-Wadena County Courier
Endless Ink: Graphic Design, Embroidery & Screen Printing
Jazz It Up: Furniture & Decor - Upcycled, Modern & Vintage
Article written and shared by Taylor Lunemann
Businesses are often looking at new ways to grow and evolve to the ever changing market. Ray and Marlo Benning have taken that approach to a whole new level and now own one of the most unique combinations of businesses in the country, Benning Printing and Publishing Inc. It all started when they purchased the Independent News Herald newspaper and commercial print shop in Clarissa in 2000. They diversified by adding the Verndale Sun, Browerville Blade and the Todd/Wadena Courier newspapers.
Benning Printing & Publishing Inc. : Ray Benning, Trinity Gruenberg, Dave Lorenz, Jennifer Krueger, Sergio Aguilera
Not Pictured Karin Nauber, Bethany Zephier, Kathy Marquardt, Karen Benning
Website for Independent News Herald: https://www.inhnews.com/
While also diversifying they started Endless Ink which offers screen printing, embroidery, vinyl, sublimation, signage, flags, and many other things.
Another addition came in the form of “Jazz It Up,” which offers customers a chance to purchase beautiful repurposed furniture. Commercial printing and website building rounds out the long list of services offered in the one building.
There was no road map or blueprint for the business. Ray does not know of another business to offer this unique and wide variety of services in the area.
The home office is centered in Clarissa just off of Highway-71. There is more than meets the eye to this building storefront. Walk in the front door and you are greeted by the news department. Several dedicated staff members are busy typing up a wide variety of stories and happenings throughout the local area to be printed in the upcoming editions of the newspapers.
The middle of the building is manned by Dave Lorenz, one of the dedicated employees and the man in charge of the commercial printing orders for over 50 years.
The “back area” of the building features Endless Ink & Jazz It Up which gives customers a chance to come in and see all the apparel offered up close in a very modern and eye appealing highway 71 storefront atmosphere.
Endless Ink has been a portion of the business that has seen the most evolution over the years. The business also belongs to the Advertising Specialty Institute which gives it the opportunity to purchase over 950,000 promotional items, including pens, mugs, banners, flags, just about anything you may want to order.
“We can pretty much get anything you want printed no matter what it’s on,” Ray said. “We can either do it ourselves, find another vendor to help us get your job done, or send you to a place that we would recommend if there’s something we can’t do.”
The newest and most unique service offered is building online stores for businesses, sports teams, organizations or individuals. These stores offer a wide range of apparel in many different colors, sizes, and types of clothing. They build it free of charge and customers then have the opportunity to order and pay online in one spot. If it’s a local business, the orders will be delivered free of charge. But if someone has a family member order it in Florida, for example, it can also be shipped to them.
“People like the online stores because they don’t have to collect money and deal with checks and cash,” Ray explained. “It’s all done online.”
Anyone organizing fundraisers can also take advantage of the online store as a percentage of those sales can be put into a separate account and sent back to them without any paperwork or money for the organizer or club to handle.
Benning Printing and Publishing also offers website building. It has built and now maintains the websites for the cities of Clarissa, Bertha and Hewitt.
Offering such a wealth of services requires a dedicated and reliable staff, and Ray says he has just that. He knows if an emergency comes up, the business will continue to run without a hiccup. When the team puts the newspaper together on Mondays, they enjoy taking turns making lunch for everyone. “Every Monday an employee cooks and we rotate,” he said. “It’s a good team and family atmosphere.”
Whether it’s enjoying the atmosphere at the office or being able to deliver a product to a customer, the Bennings are happy to be able to provide a wide range of services to the community they live in. They truly believe in shopping local and thank everyone who supports the local communities. Without the local support none of this would be possible.
“I’ve really enjoyed doing this and it’s interesting to see all the new owners and businesses and the changes they make as well as the businesses that have been here for years” Ray concluded. “It’s nice to see new businesses come to town and I’d like to see our rural areas grow. I think there’s something to be said about the value of life here.”
At a Glance:
2000 - Purchased the Independent News Herald
2009 - Acquired the Verndale Sun
2014 – Started Endless Ink
2014 - Acquired the Browerville Blade and Todd County Courier
2017 - Opened Endless Ink and Jazz it up storefront
Hours: Clarissa - 8:30-4:30 Monday-Friday
Positions open: Sales representative
Chamber Director: Luan Thomas-Brunkhorst
Chamber Office Hours:
Monday-Friday 9am - 3pm
Please contact me at (320) 732-2514.
I am in and out of the office a lot, so please call before coming or take your chances.
Location: @ the LP Library 42 3rd Street North
(click on red for google map)
Thought of the day
“In November, you begin to know how long the Winter will be.” Martha Gellhorn (sayingspoint.com)
Upcoming Chamber & Community Events
Long Prairie Senior Center - 320 732-2282
Manager: Jodi Dixon
50-3RD ST NE
They are open Monday-Friday 10am - 3pm.
They have many daily activities. See calendar below.
LIONS TOY DRIVE- NOW thru DECEMBER 13th
The Long Prairie Lions Club will be collecting toys for area children through age 16 again this year.
Please bring New unwrapped gifts to one of the following 6 locations. They will pick them up no later than Dec. 13th so there's time to get them wrapped and distributed.
LOCATIONS: Prairie Pharmacy, Ace Hardware, Long Prairie Fleet Supply, Coborns, Mn National Bank, Auto Value and American Heritage Bank. Or give them to one of our members and they'll do the rest.
Horse Drawn Sleigh / Wagon Rides @ Cornerstone pines
Take a horse-drawn sleigh/wagon ride through groomed trails of majestic oaks, ponds, deer trails and other wildlife.
Saturday, December 14 11am-5pmPrivate Party rides available all year long upon request
Rides provided by Horse Power Acres
Cornerstone Pines - 19180 281st Ave, Grey Eagle, MN 56336
320.732.3299 - firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 Santa Visits
Visit Santa in his workshop or write a letter to Santa and drop it in his mailbox.
Santa will be here 12:30–4:30 on:
The library will have everything you need to make lots of great holiday crafts! Check back often for new and fun ideas!
Monday Dec 2 to Saturday Dec.14
During library open hours.
Sprout: Growers & Makers Marketplace
Market Dates: 2019
Location: 609 13th Ave NE Door 8, Little Falls, MN
Indoor market with local food, art and entertainment
SPROUT FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/SproutMN8/%E2%80%8B
SPROUT WEBSITE https://www.sproutmn.com/
Just for Kix: Winter Show
December 14, 2019: 1st show at 3:30pm & 2nd show at 5:30pm
LPGE Elementary Big Gym, 205 2nd St. So., Long Prairie, MN
Come and see ALL our ages groups--age 2-12th grade for their first big performance of the season!!
TWO SHOW TIMES: 3:30PM & 5:30PM
Show Day: Adult-$7.00 Child-$5.00
Make a card for everyone on your holiday list! We will have everything you need to make one of a kind cards for friends and family.
Monday, Dec. 16 to Monday, Dec. 23
During library open hours.
CentraCare to host blood drive in December
Long Prairie, Minn. CentraCare – Long Prairie is hosting an American Red Cross blood drive from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. December 23 within the Fitness Studio of Vitality Wellness, located at 50 CentraCare Drive, Long Prairie.
To make an appointment, or to learn more, call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org enter Sponsor Code: Long Prairie Community.
To make a blood donation, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health on the day of donation.
Give a gift, get a gift. Come to give Dec. 19-Jan. 5 for an exclusive Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last!
CHURCH SERVICES & ACTIVITIES
American Lutheran Church
- Meals, Mugs & Mittens
Free Community Christmas Dinner at 12:30 p.m.
on Wednesday, December 25th
Clotho Methodist Church
- Church Service @ Clotho United Methodist Church
Sunday, December 15th....Christmas in the Country, 7 p.m.,
Clotho UMC Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 8 p.m., Clotho UMC
- Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
@ Clotho United Methodist Church
December 24, 2019 at 8 p.m.
First Baptist Church
- Sunday School Christmas Program
December 15 at 10:15am
- Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
December 24 at 4:30pm
- Sunday School Christmas Service
December 22nd at 9 am
- Christmas Eve Service
December 24th at 4 pm
- Christmas Service
December 25th at 9 am
NEW YEAR’S EVE CONCERT: Begin your NEW YEAR with the Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra!
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
This annual fundraising event includes:
- Dinner at 5pm (see prices below)
- Live music during dinner
- Silent Auction event
- Orchestra concert at 6:30pm (Free will donation)
- Sparkling cider toast
- Delicious dessert after the concert
- Pre-sale Tickets are $18.00
- Tickets at the door $20.00
If you would like to purchase tickets, please contact any Chamber Orchestra member or purchase tickets at the Central MN Credit Union in LP and Grey Eagle or at the LP Chamber of Commerce. Call 320 732 2514 or email:
Sunday, December 15th 10:15 a.m. Sunday School Christmas program Tuesday, December 24th 4:30 p.m. Candlelight Christmas Eve service
MORE CALENDAR EVENTS: Click - Events Calendar
Welcome New 2019 Chamber Members !
Benning Printing& Publishing Inc. (September)
Todd County Chaplaincy (June)
Peas in a Pod (June)
Lake Country Lawn Care LLC (May)
Jeff Berg Financial (April)
Countryside Restaurant (March)
East West Realty (March)
Lake Osakis Resort (March)
Prairie Pharmacy (February)
Todd Wadena Electric Cooperative (January)
Reynolds Baptist Church (January)
Long Prairie Midwives NEW Ownership (January)
Thank you, also, to all of you who have renewed your membership!
We appreciate you and could not do this without you!
NEW- Small Business Consultants Listing!
Peas in a Pod (June)
Lydia Smith-Lenardson- Passion 4 Living Counseling (May)
Nancy Leasman- artist (March)
Order Chamber Bucks to support local businesses
click here: email@example.com
Electronic Sign Use and Fees Schedule
Please click the link above to download our Sign Use Policy and Fee Schedule. If you would like to use the sign (either as a Chamber Member or as a non-member) please fill out the last page of the form and enclose any payment (non-member) for use of the sign and return to the Chamber office. Thank you.
History of Long Prairie
Want More Information on Community Gardens? Call City Hall 320 732-2167 Follow this link for photos and more information about the Community Gardens.
Click on the Made in Minnesota photo to learn more about products and suppliers who are right here in Minnesota!