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Clare Mill End store gets new owners

5-23-14 Millend coffee talkThe old Mill End Store and Coffee Talk in downtown Clare soon will be the new business in Clare. The buildings have been purchased by local investors Larry and Judy Kleinhardt and will be managed by local entrepreneurs Lauren Manderbach and Lindsey Gunden. Plans for the building are still pending, but will be made known to the public as they become available, Manderbach and Gunden reported.

They have said that Coffee Talk will be reopening under new management and Alloy Photography and Design will be in the building.  “I’m really excited, this is all happening so quickly,” Manderbach said Thursday.

The Mill End Store, built in 1910 and operated as Davie’s Department Store for many years, has been a fixture in Clare since 1964, when Glen Folkert purchased the business from the Davie estate. His son Bob purchased the business that same year and moved to Clare.

Bob was in the store for the next 50 years, eventually selling the business to his three daughters. In the last few years, daughter Dee Folkert owned and ran the Mill End Store until it closed just a few years ago.

“It will be exciting to see what the new owners will do with the building,” Bob said Thursday. He said the brick on the front  and south side of the building is hand-kilned brick that was made for highways. “You can see the actual original color of the bricks on the side of the jewelry store,” he said. “There isn’t a crack anywhere in that brick.”

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