Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Laundromat will be revived as the Copper Coin

 

October 31, 2019

Lois Johnson

Cathy Rudebeck is the new owner of the laundromat in Moose Lake. The new name is the Copper Coin.

Cathy Rudebeck was filling her car tank with gas one day in May and saw her future across the street. Kuhlman's Laundromat was for sale.

"All of a sudden, it hit me," she said in a recent interview. "That was my retirement plan."

It didn't take long for Rudebeck to inform the owner, Ray Kuhlman, of her plans.

"I went in after work and told Ray that I was going to buy this place," she said. "He said, 'You are? I said that 'I am.'"

Now that idea has become reality. Rudebeck is the new owner of the laundromat and will rename it the Copper Coin.

"It just felt right," she said. "Ray taught me 32 years of running the business in two hours. I felt like I have been here forever."

In a telephone interview, Ray Kulman said that he has owned the laundromat for 32 years and his parents, Virgil and Margaret Kuhlman, had owned it for about 25 years. The laundromat had been built by Ged Oltmanns in the late 1950s, he believed. Oltmanns had also built the Dairy Queen, he said.

Rudebeck said that she plans to retire from her job as a mail carrier on New Year's Eve day and work at the laundromat full time. She has many ideas for improving the décor.

Rudebeck is from the area and currently has a home north of Moose Lake. She has three grown children and five grandchildren, who all support her new venture. Daughter Trina Ennen will assist her in the business, she said.

"It will be a bit of a challenge to operate the business until I retire from the post office but I will enjoy every minute of it," she said. "I am a people person and am looking forward to talking with the customers."

Rudebeck also has another supportive person in her life.

"My significant other, Rich Yetzer, is my backbone and is there for me with all of my dreams," she said.

On a tour of the laundromat, Rudebeck told of her remodeling plans. The room in the front of the building will take on a rustic look with barnwood paneling on the lower portion of the walls and a weathered-looking laminated floor.

The pop machine has already been removed and a small coffee bar set up. A children's corner features a colorful table and two small, kid-sized chairs.

A plant placed on an antique stool adds a hint of what is to come.

The back room of the laundromat, that also has washers and dryers, will become the new and warmer home of the Farmer's Market, said Rudebeck.

"It has been so cold at the pavilion by the river where they have had the Farmer's Market that they agreed to move it here. They will have the Farmer's Market here year around."

The Farmer's Market will be open two days instead of one, on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Rudebeck plans on old-fashioned county kitchen décor for that room.

The upper portion of the walls will be painted white, and red tiles will cover the lower portion. Red and white checked curtains already cover the window and table. The table is an old-fashioned white with red trim kitchen table from the Forties and Fifties.

Rudebeck has gotten to know Roxie and Bruce Smith from Willow River, who will operate the Farmer's Market.

"Roxie has a collection of white enamel with red trim kitchen utensils that she has wanted to display somewhere," said Rudebeck. "She will set them up here."

An apartment is located at the rear of the laundromat building and is being remodeled for a renter. Rudebeck showed the space that is currently divided by studs for the walls.

In that space is a treasure and the reason for the new name of the business. An antique copper washing machine will be polished to show all of its copper glory and moved to the front room of the laundromat after that room has been remodeled.

Redebeck is having a unique sign being made and has plans to repaint the exterior next year.

"I want to make this a comfortable place, and I want to make people feel welcome to the back room," she said. "The bathroom will also be open, which hasn't been the case in the past."

WiFi will also be available to customers that use the laundromat. Future plans also include pick up and drop off laundry service for those that are not able to do their own laundry.

The Copper Coin is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Customers may drop off dry cleaning between the hours of 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Rudebeck invites people to stop in and watch the progress as the business is remodeled.

"So many folks have thanked me for keeping the business open," said Rudebeck. "I am looking forward to meeting all of the past customers and welcoming new customers."

 

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