New convenience store opens in Retek building Billy and Marty's Convenience Store opened a second location in Downtown July 1. Owner Nazmul Jaffer opened Billy and Marty's in the Retek on the Mall building, 10th Street and Nicollet Mall, at street level. The other Billy and Marty's is located on the skyway level of the Highland Bank Court Building, 811 LaSalle Ave.
Jaffer said he wanted to open his second store because of building landlord and major tenant Ryan Companies.
"The Ryan Companies ... were with us at our location at 900 2nd Ave. We were very familiar with all the employees up there," Jaffer said. "They'd always insisted that when they got a retail location up there, they wanted Billy and Marty's."
According to Jaffer, Billy and Marty's carries all the items one expects from a convenience store, but what keeps customers coming back is their pastries.
"We have rolls from Lunds Bakery. That has been a very big hit with the customers," he said.
Jaffer said the Nicollet and 10th Street Billy and Marty's would also offer laundry services, money wiring and an ATM machine.
Some may be wondering how a store owned by a man named Nazmul came to be called Billy and Marty's. "Billy and Marty's is a very old store in Minneapolis that started in the Foshay Tower," Jaffer said. "We bought it four years ago. We like the name Billy and Marty's. There are two partners in this business -- me and my nephew. I am called Marty. He is called Billy." - Ellen Nigon
Kramarczuk a creampuff At age 17, Andrew Kramarczuk has opened his first business, Drizzle Drop Creampuff, located in his father's sausage company at 215 E. Hennepin Ave. in Old St. Anthony.
Drizzle Drop started serving variations of creampuffs, a French pastry, on July 12. The creampuff has a sweet, crispy outside and a smooth, creamy inside. Twelve flavors include chocolate drizzled, caramel, strawberry, chocolate truffle, Bavarian cream and apple cinnamon. The creampuffs are made fresh on-site, with real cream. A single creampuff costs $1.39, and a dozen costs $13.99.
Kramarczuk learned to bake at age five. Three years ago, his Ukranian grandmother tought him how to make torts, and since then he's been a serious baker.
"I always loved creampuffs, and I noticed no one in the area sold them," said Kramarczuk, a rising high school junior at St. Paul Academy high school.
Inspired by the idea of a niche market, the young businessperson spent after-school hours, weekends and summer breaks experimenting with different recipes for the French dessert.
Now with Drizzle Drop up and running, Kramarczuk is looking for a full-time baker so he can focus on marketing his business, something he said he loves even more than baking. Drizzle Drop is located inside the Kramarczuk Sausage Co., right next to the bakery. For more information, call 379-3018. - April Wooster
Downtown Olive Garden opens Olive Garden has officially opened in Downtown at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and South 6th Street. The Italian restaurant chain adds this location to its 524 nationwide restaurants.
Downtown's Olive Garden, which measures 8,200 square feet, was designed after the ristorantes and cafes of Milan and Rome. It seats 221 people, and prices range from $10 to $20 for an entre.
Olive Garden will be open for dinner only on Monday, July 28 through Sunday, Aug. 3. Beginning Aug. 4, Olive Garden will open for lunch, starting at 11 a.m. - Ellen Nigon