THREE YEARS — Blondie’s in New Richland is celebrating its three-year anniversary Friday, Nov. 2. Pictured from left are owner Carly Solland and cook Angie Hoffman. (Star Eagle photo by Nicole Billing)
By NICOLE BILLING
Where does the name “Blondie’s” come from? Not from owner Carly Solland, as some might think.
The name comes from Hollywood blondes such as Marilyn Monroe, whose picture can be seen on Blondie’s walls.
Blondie’s has been in the New Richland community for three years now and is always busy with customers. It will perhaps be busier than usual this Friday, Nov. 2, as the restaurant holds a three-year anniversary celebration featuring a lunch special along with free coffee and treat.
Solland has been in the restaurant business for seven years and said, “I want to do this for the rest of my life. It’s not always what it’s cracked up to be, but I’m doing what I want to do. Even though it doesn’t always pay the bills, liking what I do is important.”
Solland started her life watching her parents own their own bar and restaurant for most of their lives. She owned a fair stand at the Freeborn County Fair for four years before her friend, Jeff Felsted, told her she should get into the restaurant business.
At the time, she had a lease in Albert Lea and had actually been proposed a very long-term lease. However, she closed that restaurant and looked around for another decent restaurant in the area.
Soon after, Bernie Anderson of New Richland called her and told her there was a restaurant for sale. Since that day, Solland has enjoyed working in New Richland. She says she likes getting to know everyone and seeing familiar faces every day.
“Sometimes it’s a struggle to keep it open, but without a patronage of the community Blondie’s wouldn’t open,” she said.
Solland has a lot of help, especially from her permanent cook, Angie Hoffman.
“While I make the recipes, Angie is the one that makes everything taste so good,” said Solland of her cook of two years.
Blondie’s also has an early morning crowd Monday through Saturday. The men show up sometimes as early as 5:30 a.m., before Solland herself is even there. They open up the restaurant, turn on the lights and start the first coffee of the morning.
Solland said the crowd will get bigger when and harvesting is done for the year and get smaller once the holidays are over and some residents will head south for the winter.
Blondie’s also caters for a lot of different. They have been catering different Waseca Historical Society events in the three years they have been open and they will also do graduations, birthday parties, and funerals. People can even rent out Blondie’s for events such as Christmas parties and bridal showers. Solland says that she enjoys doing this portion of the business as much as owning the restaurant.