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Check Out Richard Beyer’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Richard Beyer.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I was raised in the hospitality business. My Dad was the 3rd generation operator in total, our family run for over 60 years. I started working not in the family business but at a Country Kitchen Restaurant at 15. I worked into management there and then moved to Perkins Restaurant as a Manager. At age 24, married with our 2-year-old son moved from New Ulm to Pequot Lakes where I bought the A-Pine Restaurant, 38 years and many changes later I’m still going strong.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’ve seen tremendous growth over my 38 years, Many obstacles, transitioning from primarily a resort area with 3 months of high traffic summer business and the remaining 9 months was struggling to survive to get to the next summer. Today it still is a summer playground with fewer family resorts and mostly lake cabins that are used year-round. There are more year rounds residents than ever before. Ups and downs with a changing labor market, back in the 80’s I would get 20 or more applications for summer help, today it might be 3-5.

A few years ago the highway that passes by my restaurant was realigned. 20 plus years of planning, local task force meetings and meetings with government officials. A lot of anxiety and frustration fighting to retain access to my business. Then Corvid hits, Uncertainty, when can we open up again? an extremely stressful time. All I could think of is my employees need income. We stayed open for carryout and reinvented ourselves to keep as regular hours as possible. It worked, my employees never let me down. They stuck with me and we came out of the pandemic at full strength. This is not a business for the light hearted, Many times I felt like getting out of this business but it’s really what I’ve always wanted to do and I stuck with it and today I love this business more than ever. I feel I have persevered and weathered the storm. I have to give so much credit to my long term employees, Servers 27 years, 15 and 20 years people. My kitchen staff of 25 and 20 years and many that are here for 5 plus years. These are the people that make it all possible. The employees are your front line and create the experience for customers. I have so much respect for them all and I let them know often. We are a family.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I have been involved in community organizations, I’ve been a charter member of two Lions Clubs in our area. I also chaired the start up of a First Responder organization In my county and served as its first president and a member for over 20 years. I am a past member of the Central Minnesota Critical Incident Stress Management Team, we did debriefings for emergency personnel involved in critical incidents in a 14 county area. I was bestowed a Citation from the VFW For Appreciation and Praise for services rendered to the community of which I’m very proud of. I also served a member of the City of Jenkins Task Force which communicated with MNDOT, local businesses and citizens. We made suggestions and comments to the city council with regards to the highway expansion within the community.

A-Pine is known for having consistent hours of operation, quality food and friendly service. Long known for our famous recipe Chicken for in house dining as well as carry-out. A-Pine has in the past 20 years also known as the place to go for breakfast, Crisp hash browns, Eggs Benedict, Blueberry Pancakes and Wild Rice Sausage are just a few big hit not to mention Biscuit and Sausage gravy on the weekends. Another BIG hit is the Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches with real Mashed potatoes and gravy.

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Playing with my friends in the park. Riding my bike. Spending time with my pet duck.

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Image Credits
CR A-Pine Restaurant

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