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Border store excites with new billboard

The promotion at the Minnesota store just across from the Pigeon River border crossing has prompted an outpouring of curiosity.

GRAND PORTAGE — "Stay tuned."

This is the message on social media platforms hyping something exciting that is coming soon to Ryden's Border Store.

The promotion at the Minnesota store just across from the Pigeon River border crossing has prompted an outpouring of curiosity, keeping the phone of the store's owner, Lori Boomer, ringing with calls from curious folks.

"We're getting a new billboard," Boomer said.

"I put a picture on social media of work being done to our billboard, which has been blank since the COVID pandemic. COVID set everything back. I added 'stay tuned,' and it blew up. People were asking if Ryden's is closing."

The message had people speculating about the Canadian dollar on par all day, every day, Teriyaki beef jerky available 24-7 and support for The Bears, a favourite Chicago football team.

Boomer said the billboard belongs to Ryden's Border Store and is used to advertise their money exchange service, souvenirs and duty-free shop.

"We're still going forward and getting busier," she said.

"The parcels were down and business was down and it's taken four years for us to get almost back to normal. We're really hoping that this summer we will be back to 100 per cent."

Boomer said that parcels that arrived before the pandemic have "mostly" been picked up while some unclaimed items left after three to four years after contacting the (recipients) are being sold.

"The weekends have actually been very good, even through the winter, but normally we're quite slow," she said.

"We're looking forward to all the American fishermen coming through to Canada from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, and (dirt track) racing season kicks off here pretty soon (at Thunder City Speedway)."

Boomer added that they sponsor a race car at the speedway and look forward to seeing all the racers come through every week. "It's a lot of traffic, and they all stop in, so I think it's going to be a good summer," she said.

Meanwhile, the store is "fully stocked" with souvenirs, Canadian, Thunder Bay and Ryden's printed clothing and their fridge is filled with a variety of popular jerky.

"Our duty-free is fully stocked and has been getting beer and other deliveries daily," she said. "It's like a light switch around here because it goes from quiet to chaos overnight."

The Chronicle Journal / Local Journalism Initiative


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