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By Echo Menges
Tana and Jon Tuftee, and Randy Carlson have partnered on a local furniture store situated on the south block of the Edina Town Square in hopes they will inspire others to revitalize the downtown district. For many years, the Edina Town Square has had more closed businesses than occupied businesses, which is starting to change.
They closed on the old Blake Furniture building in April of this year and opened the newly named and re-imagined furniture store, Edina Home Decor, on May 22, 2021.
“I got into this because I thought Edina needed an affordable furniture store,” said Randy Carlson.
“We want to help bring more business to the Square,” said Tana Tuftee.
Already, they have big news to share.
“We just found out we got the contract to start selling Ashley furniture,” said Tana Tuftee.
According to Tuftee, a large order of Ashley furniture and home decorative pieces will be arriving in Edina any time now.
And the store has been steadily getting ready for the additions.
All of the painting, texturing and general improvement to the building was done by Randy Carlson from the time of closing. The improvements have steadily continued, even after the business officially opened to the public.
For those who frequent the establishment, it looks different on every visit.
So far, the original stamped copper metal ceiling has been cleaned up and repainted by hand, which revealed the ornate detail of the crown molding and ceiling tiles. The walls have been given a fresh coat of white. The old dated signage on the front of the building has been removed revealing the full view from the 12-foot tall windows that are original to the building. The windows now feature vinyl decals of the new name and logo.
The original wood flooring, the exact type unknown, is also in the process of being improved.
The team contracted NEMO Heating and Air to install a new furnace and central air system, and Oberholtzer Plumbing to fix a waterline and install drains, and a new kitchen sink in the upstairs rental apartment. Mark Twain Communications has also installed internet access.
“We really want to see these old buildings come back to life,” said Tuftee. “We are starting with this one.”
Carlson has further busied himself updating and refreshing much of the furniture in the store, along with Tuftee, which seems to be flying out the door.
“We’re doing a lot better than we thought we would,” said Tuftee.
“We didn’t expect the business to be this good,” said Carlson. “No, we’re not quitting our jobs,” he said laughing..
Amid all this excitement, the team closed on yet another downtown building on the same block, Jane Campbell’s old ceramic shop, just last month on August 11. They plan to open it up as an art studio, though the details are still being planned out the team has grown to include friends, part time staff, do-gooders.
They are sharing a passion to bring back the businesses.
“Another thing is that we can work on getting the apartments above ready to rent. We need more rentals in Edina,” said Tuftee. “Alex Reel is managing the current rentals above each storefront.”
Bringing in Reel, Mayor of Edina and local Real Estate Agent, has freed the team up to focus on the buildings while moving toward having more viable residential rentals available.
“It’s exciting to see entrepreneurs come up with creative business ideas and take action to make them reality,” said Edina Mayor Alex Reel. “They are providing Edina with new businesses, creating tourist attractions, and helping to preserve the heart of our historic downtown. They are truly an inspiration to me and many others.”