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Northwoods Music to fall silent

Jed Carlson/ Northwoods Music, at 1608 Tower Ave., is going out of business after 20 years in Superior. A liquidation sale is underway at the store, which offered musical instruments, records, collectibles and more.

Two local businesses are making a change.

After 20 years in Superior, Northwoods Music is closing its doors. A liquidation sale is underway at the 1608 Tower Ave. store. According to the employees, everything's got to go as the Superior music shop clears out its stock of musical instruments, records, movies, video games, DVDs, collectibles and more.

The move comes about a month after the Northwoods Music store in Virginia, Minn. shut down.

"I feel bad for the kids of Superior," said owner Scott Johnson.

Too often, he hears the complaint that there's nothing to do in the city. Northwoods Music offered lessons and recitals, musical instruments and events.

"We were one of those safe, family activities to do," Johnson said.

Business has slowed down, however, and the store could no longer support itself.

Northwoods Music will stay open until the stock is depleted, and music lessons will continue at the shop through the summer. Johnson said he plans to sell the building.

Northwoods began as a coffee shop in the storefront area of the apartment building on Tower Avenue's 1800 block. In 2003, the store changed its focus to music and its name to Northwoods Guitar. As it outgrew its space, the business traveled to 1112 Tower Ave. and then, in 2008, its current spot in the former Louis Café building. Customers and friends have sounded off on Facebook, sharing stories of its 20-year-run.

"Such great life highlights!" said Marvin Pomeroy, who worked and taught at the store. "These things become bigger than just a building. It is like a living, breathing, organism. Often felt like a clubhouse for the initiated. Always ready to take on new folks. The learning that has gone on!"

"Thank you Scott for all the years you have given to this community," said Carrie Wallin. "My kids are better for having worked with you and we appreciate all your time and effort given to them."

"Thanks for all the people you taught the joy of music," said Jackie Elm. "Blessings on this new journey Scott to you and your family.

Making a move

The closing of one small business has led to relocation for another. When Thomas Strewler founded Enduring Achievement LLC five years ago, he based his tutoring program out of the Northwoods Music building. Johnson shared his small-business experience with Strewler, and provided him a space where he could grow.

"I have a long relationship with Scott," Strewler said. "My kids took guitar lessons from him; I took guitar lessons from him. I started seeing him at the Nottingham Apartments site. I followed him all over town."

Tuesday, Strewler opened Enduring Achievement LLC at its new location in the Mariner Mall, now the Mariner Business and Retail Center. It's a few doors down from the former movie theater space.

"I'm excited about the opportunities this might represent," Strewler said, and the possibility of attracting walk-in clients. The mall welcomes daily walkers and is the site of a number of businesses, from a child care center and sand volleyball courts to a crossbow manufacturer.

Hesitant at first, Strewler said he made the conscious decision not to tough out the Belknap Street road construction downtown. He painted and arranged the space, which formerly housed the Air Force recruiting office, and is ready to welcome students.

Strewler offers tutoring for people of all ages with dyslexia as well as those with academic needs through individualized educational services. The small business provides academic tutoring, dyslexia tutoring, assessments and study skills training.

A 32-year veteran of the Superior School District, Strewler said he can also serve as an advocate for parents as they work with the school district to craft educational plans. With his experience, the teacher-turned-businessman said, he can help them know what to expect and what to ask for.

Enduring Achievement currently has one employee and serves an average of 10 students. Strewler said the bulk of his tutoring is in language arts, reading, writing and spelling, although he does some math tutoring as well.

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