Doors open for entrepreneurs in Superior

More than a dozen new businesses got their start this year.

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More than a dozen new businesses got their start in the past year. (File photos / Superior Telegram)

The city of Superior welcomed a variety of new businesses in the past year.

Here’s a brief rundown:

Central Flats on Belknap Street, May 17, 2021. (Jed Carlson /

Central Flats

Construction was completed on the new mixed-use building that stands on the site of the former Central Middle School, offering 136 market-rate apartments and 12,000 square feet of commercial space.


The 175,000-square-foot, five-story structure started welcoming new residential tenants late last year, and its first commercial customer, Imperium Chiropractic, is planning to open this summer.
Groomer Amy Laessig cuts dog Emily's hair Thursday, April 8, 2021. Laessig runs Purr-fectly Superior Grooming. (Jed Carlson /

Purr-fectly Superior

A mobile grooming business launched last June. Owner Amy Laessig provides one-on-one grooming services at her clients’ homes, where older or more nervous pets are likely to remain more calm.

Laessig carries supplies like a folding table, industrial dryer, shampoo, clippers, scissors and nail clippers in a few bags to groom dogs, cats and rabbits.

Visit the Purr-fectly Superior Grooming Facebook page, call 218-576-2796 or email for more information.

A Toppers Pizza and Port City Collective CBD shop opened in the former bank building at 1214 Tower Ave. in October. (2020 / Telegram / File )


Toppers Pizza

A Superior branch of Toppers Pizza, 1231 N. Ninth St., Duluth, opened at 1214 Tower Ave., in October.

While the pandemic interrupted plans to open the new location earlier in the year, owner Ryan Tepsa wasn’t deterred because of daily calls to bring the signature pizza to Superior.

The restaurant offers delivery and curbside pickup, with limited seating in the large lobby. Tepsa said he’s in the midst of hiring more than 30 employees for the Superior Toppers Pizza location. He has 21 employees at the Duluth restaurant. The positions are listed on Indeed, Tepsa said, and will soon be on the corporate website. People can also call the Duluth store, 218-525-4500, for an application.

Toppers Pizza, headquartered in Whitewater, Wisconsin, has more than 75 locations in 16 states, according to the company. Tepsa said the chain’s house pizzas and signature breadsticks set Toppers apart from other pizza parlors, as well as its later hours. The Superior Toppers Pizza will be open until 2 a.m. And on Oct. 15, Tepsa said, Toppers Pizza will roll out a vegan menu.

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(Courtesy of Colton Allen)

Port City Collective

Moving in next to Toppers in the former Community Bank and Trust building was Port City Collective.

The shop offers a variety of hemp products, including a handful of local brands, a house brand and a handful of West Coast brands. In addition to CBD products, Port City Collective will carry tobacco and vape products and a small selection of hand-blown glass. The business is owned and operated by Colton Allen of Duluth, the owner of the former skate and snowboarding-based clothing business, Common Apparel.

Black Fox Hair Studio owner Lena Cooper peeks out from a waxing station in her new space at 1408 Tower Ave. in Superior Wednesday, Feb. 10. (Jed Carlson /

Black Fox Hair Studio

A revelation prompted five-time salon owner Lena Cooper to open her first salon in Superior.

The Black Fox Hair Studio opened after the closure the Boss salon in Duluth. Cooper said things just started to fall into place to open her sixth salon, from renewing her cosmetology license, getting a salon license and fitting in the schedules of Belknap Electric and Belknap Plumbing to make necessary modifications to her new space at 1408 Tower Ave.
Becky Scherf, owner of Lady Outlaw’s Vintage pop-up shop, looks through clothes at her new shop in the former Red Mug space Nov. 20, 2020. (Jed Carlson /

Lady Outlaw Vintage

When Becky Scherf opened Lady Outlaw Vintage last November in the space formerly occupied by Red Mug, there was a chance the popup would close again by April.

“It just ended up working out,” Scherf said recently.


The stop continues to offer clothes, shoes, home décor, housewares and kitsch from the 1920s through the 1990s in the lower level of 916 Hammond Ave.
Jamrock Cultural Restaurant owner Tony O’Neil, pictured in June 2020, found a permanent location at 1901 Tower Ave. (Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram)

Jamrock Cultural Restaurant

Owner Tony O’Neil has been around for a while as a vendor, and until recently has served his Caribbean-inspired meals out of Average Joe’s in Superior’s North End.

That was until January when he opened Jamrock Cultural Restaurant at 1901 Tower Ave.

In the building formerly occupied by Pak’s Green Corner and Kenny Wong’s Oriental Express, O’Neil is able to serve in house or carryout customers meals inspired by his grandmother, Dorothy Reece.

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Keith White, left, and Jamar Kirk stand outside Stop N Go Pizza, which opened Nov. 20, 2020, in Superior. (Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram)


Stop N Go Pizza

For owners Keith White and Jamar Kirk, the secret is in the signature sauces created by White, who does most of the cooking at Stop N Go Pizza, 1908 Tower Ave.

The business partners seized on the opportunity to run a family business to serve appetizers, pizza, calzones and sandwiches for people to enjoy at home.

The distinct sauces, including sweet chili pineapple, hot buffalo, barbecue, lemon pepper, parmesan garlic and sweet onion jerk, provide the flare and are whipped up by White.
Lexy Land, owner of Lift Bridge Bagels, flips a batch of bagels over as steam rises while she boils them at the Superior Business Center on April 15, 2021. (Jed Carlson / File / Telegram)

Lift Bridge Bagels

Entrepreneur Lexy Land launched Lift Bridge Bagels in mid-December under the umbrella of her mug cake business, On Grace and 93rd.

She’s been selling and shipping mug cake mixes since July. The idea to start a bagel bakery began a few years ago during a trip to New Zealand with her husband. They found a shop, Beam Me Up Bagels, with amazing bagels, and have been trying to find a comparable bagel spot stateside.

Finding nothing she liked locally, Land decided to make her own.


Every week, Land bakes up to 25 dozen bagels, depending on the number of orders. Her staple flavors are plain, cinnamon sugar, Asiago cheese and everything (topped with a blend of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, minced onion, minced garlic and a flakey sea salt).

Visit the On Grace and 93rd website to order bagels or mug cake mixes or learn more about the business.
Sara Haushalter, left, and Bobbi Reijo clean a room at Northern Oral Surgery and Implant Center in their new space on Belknap Street in Superior on March 24, 2021. (Jed Carlson /

Northern Oral Surgery and Implant Center

A patient backlog, making room for a new doctor and an expiring lease all played a role in Northern Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons opening its newest office in Superior.

Northern Oral Surgery and Implant Center at 503 Belknap St., opened Monday through Thursday in March. By July, the surgeons plan to provide care in Superior five days a week.

The clinic specials in dental implants, bone grafting, facial trauma, jaw surgery and tooth extractions among other procedures.

The practice got its start in the late 1980s or early 1990s in Duluth when now retired surgeon, Dr. Chuck Babst struck out on his own. Dr. Duncan Puffer, now the senior partner, joined Northern Oral in 1994. Dr. Marty Espe joined in 1998, followed by Dr. Peter Mayer in 2005 and Dr. Tim Morse in 2013. Dr. Benjamin Heggestad is the latest addition.

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Zudi Maksutowski stands near the sign of the remodeled Dolce Vita restaurant at 5802 Tower Ave. in April. (Shelley Nelson /

Dolce Vit a

A bit of good luck and a long family history in the food service with origins in Macedonia came together to launch Dolce Vita in South Superior.

The new eatery at 5802 Tower Ave., opened in April.

Owner Zudi Maksutoski, a native of Macedonia, offers steaks, pastas and special European dishes on special nights, all made from scratch and locally sourced.
This key lime pie made by Meghan Gobel, owner of Lady Meg's Cakes, earned rave reviews on Facebook from the customer who bought it for her husband's birthday. (Courtesy of Meghan Gobel)

Lady Meg’s Cakes

When the pandemic hit, Meghan Gobel, a behavioral analyst with the state of Minnesota, decided to launch Lady Meg’s Cakes from the commercial kitchen at the Superior Business Development Center.

“I kind of do a lot of cheesecakes and pies lately,” Gobel said.

Deserts have long been a tradition in her family and a focal point of family meals and celebrations, and those are the kinds of deserts she makes. She doesn’t make wedding cakes.

“I want to keep it fun,” Gobel said. “I don’t want it to become overwhelming.”

While she doesn’t have a menu per se, she said she’s always loved baking and is willing to give anything a try. So, around her full-time work schedule, she’s offering sweet treats at LadyMegsCakes on Facebook.

File: Small Business Development Center in Superior
SBC Inc., a nonprofit governed by the Development Association board, oversaw the Superior Business Center until 2014, when SBC Inc. ended its management agreement with the city of Superior and Douglas County. (Jed Carlson / 2019 file / Telegram)

Happy Daze Infusionz

Happy Daze Infusionz is a hemp bakery operating in the commercial kitchen at the Superior Business Development Center that makes edible treats for the cannabis connoisseur.

Owner Emily Morrow said with the pandemic, it seemed like a good time to launch the business in March. Her products are available to the age 21 and older crowd through CDB retailers like Ignite and the Super Smoke Shop in Superior as week as other shops in the region. She also sells her products online at , at popups and farmers market, and is searching for more vendors.

Morrow said her goal is to normalize hemp, which is an important natural plant that, unlike alcohol, has never killed anyone.

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