Category Archives: In the Spotlight

Bringing the Noise – The Hub

The Hub

by Tony Bennett

In the opening months of 2016, in a part of Duluth a bit off the eaten path, a few well-known local businesses assembled in a large are house location to build something new together: The Hub for Event Logistics.

Located in the Irving area, just kitty-corner from Loll Designs, The Hub is an umbrella company that aims to be a one-stop shop for anyone who is looking to put on an event, no matter how large or small. Sound Central is a 16-year veteran in local sound and light that boasts a massive warehouse full of gear, T&E Concert Services is a backline company with all the amps and drums that anyone could ever need, Audio Visual Resources is a longtime business that specializes in projection, sound, video, and media conversion, and Visto Video is an upstart videography company. Together, they make up The Hub, a place that aims to provide a solution to any kind of event need that can arise.

“Sound Central was established in 2001 when I moved back to the Twin Ports after a stint in the Twin Cities playing music and having a small audio and lighting company,” Trent Edgerton, a founding partner of the company, says. Early on, it was about a “vision of providing production for concerts. It quickly grew into providing audio, lighting, and staging for any size event locally and nationally.”

He’s not kidding: Sound Central regularly goes on the road to assist a wide variety of big-name musicians with their productions, as well as providing similar services for local events. They’ve also worked things no less prestigious as the campaigns of Al Gore and George W. Bush. To be sure, they’ve got some serious experience.

Travis Johnson is the man behind T&E Concert Services. He used to be a chef until his love for production and live music overpowered his love for the culinary arts. His company is one that splintered off of Sound Central some time ago.

“T&E primarily provides backline and instrument-rental services nationwide,” Johnson says. “We also provide pro audio services for 50 to 60 shows each summer for Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, Wisconsin. I’ve also worked in conjunction with Sound Central and Audio Visual Resources on past presidential campaign rallies, numerous festivals, and multifaceted events.”

Brita Edgerton caught the AV bug while working with her husband, Trent, on his side project Twin Ports Outdoor Movies, which produces the “Movies in the Park” event in Duluth’s Leif Erickson Park in the summers. Her background in television as on-air talent and behind-the-scenes event planner for PBS has served her well in her new capacity with Audio Visual Resources, which is her main responsibility at The Hub. She says that the move to Duluth and the formation of the “Hub” umbrella has been long in the works.

“The concept of The Hub had been of interest to both Trent and I even prior to acquiring AVR,” she says. “We had already developed a network of like-minded businesses in the events-service industry. Logistically, having our businesses physically in one place made it easier to coordinate equipment and gear. Providing a literal and figurative hub for any AV, staging, or event-production elements is the service we wanted to provide for our community through the creation of The Hub.”

“The best part of our job is all the events we get to be a part of,” Brita Edgerton says. “Whether it’s boardrooms, back yards, concerts, conferences, celebrations, or worship centers, it’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of the announcements, entertainment, and education of our community.”

Famous Dave’s: Pass the napkin!

Summer. A season that we all look so forward to. Time to get out on the lakes, and enjoy picnics and barbecues. And for those of you who can’t live without a fi nger-licking delicious barbecue,
Famous Dave’s comes to mind.

The Duluth restaurant opened in 2002, and continues to be one of Canal Park’s hot spots. You may (or may not) know that Famous Dave’s offers catering. This can best be described as best
family style buffets. They offer to cater corporate events, weddings, business lunches, grad parties, school functions, personal occasions, and more. Greg Toon, general manager at the Duluth restaurant since 2004, relayed that they are a year round catering company. Groom’s dinners and family reunions are very popular in the summer months. He also jokingly said that they are not afraid to “ruin” a wedding dress or two. This writer thinks it would be worth it!

Offi ce meetings with lunches, or staff training days are popular, with multiple shift caterings a plus. If food is desired for 1st/2nd or 3rd shifts, they provide that as well.
Fall-off the bone smoked ribs, beef brisket, pork, and hand seasoned slow-roasted chicken are the house smoked meats that keep people coming back for more. Several made-from scratch items are available, such as the popular Wilbur beans, coleslaw, garlic mashed
potatoes, and mmmmac-n-cheese. Toon said that the honey buttered corn bread muffi ns are incredibly popular. There are pans of delicious food that you can help yourself to, but they also have staff who can dish up plates for the diners. A huge plus is the fact that Famous Dave’s personnel will clean, clear tables, and take care of refuse during the event. Each level of service has a cost along with it.

Famous Dave’s catering will cover a radius from 1.5 to 2 hour drive. There are extra fees for longer trips, but they have the equipment needed in order to supply a perfect meal. The catering prices run from $8-$16 dollars depending on the selection. Average prices run
from $12-$13 dollars a plate. A full menu can be seen online at Craig Smith , Sales director for Enger and Lester Park golf courses, has some very kind words to share. “Famous Dave’s has been an outstanding source for event catering for me over the past 15 years in both my baseball years and now for golf related events. I have enjoyed partnering with them for daily menu items, special catering events, and golf tournaments which our participants fully enjoyed and looked forward to year in and year out. Clients can rest assured that owner Randy Jernberg, General manager Greg Toon, and their staff will be there to support them from the initial meeting through delivery and at a great price! I highly recommend Famous Dave’s for all your event and catering needs.”

Abby Olson, owner of Saffron and Grey fl oral, Is also a very satisfi ed patron. “We have used Famous Dave’s for events and Greg Toon has always been very professional. He shows up on time & sets up a delicious spread. During the planning process he makes appropriate suggestions so you never have to worry about having too much or too little. We highly recommend working with our Duluth Famous Dave’s and Greg Toon.” “Consistent food quality and pleasing our customer is what we strive for”, Toon says. “We take pride in this, along with serving high quality meat, and providing a great meal to enhance your gathering is what famous Dave’s is all about”.

Brule River Barn Wedding & Event Center: Where Rustic Meets Elegant

When Kirk and Jill Clemmer brought 75 acres of property along the Brule River State Forest in Wisconsin 29 years ago, they never imagined that one day they would use part of the property to open a wedding and event center…

Their daughter, Amanda, who grew up on the land, always said that she wanted to be married on the beautiful and idyllic family property. When Amanda got engaged in December of 2011, the family had to kick it into high gear to prepare for her big
day in July 2012. Kirk, the owner of Brule River Builders, had lots
of equipment and materials stored in the 80 year old barn. So cleaning that out was the first step. Massive renovations inside and out were completed in time for Amanda’s dream wedding to take place.

Jill, always a gardener, had also added many flower beds, ponds, and fixtures over the years. Guests were astonished at how perfect the site was for a wedding and reception. After Amanda’s wedding, friends and family encouraged the Clemmers to turn the place into a center for other weddings and events, and the rest is history.

“My daughter did a trial Facebook page and it just ‘blew up.’ We had to push to get permits and get everything up to code when we already had interest. Then we had a booth at Lundeen Productions’ Wedding Expo and things really took off,” says Jill.

The Clemmers have continued to do renovations, opening up other buildings to be used for weddings and events. The two-level barn will accommodate nearly 200 guests. The barn’s first floor has an open patio on the front and a roofed-in open catering area in the back, with bathrooms at the side of the barn. The second floor with its wide-planked pine floors is a great spot for dancing, and it has a built-in bar area and a porch on the back overlooking one of the

The Honeymoon Cottage building is a perfect staging area for one half of the wedding party. This small one bedroom cottage is also decorated to offer the wedding couple a charming place to spend their wedding night as part of the package.
The Summer Kitchen building, filled with a colorful collection of antiques, can be used as a staging area for catered food for the cocktail hour or other events. The Old Milk House, complete with running water, a small fridge, and lockers, is a perfect place for the other half of the wedding party to use for their changing area.

Many areas on the property provide gorgeous settings for the wedding ceremony, including one in a gazebo overlooking the woods, fields, and the ponds, one in the hayloft, and, the most popular one, the old willow tree with enough shade to allow 200 guests a comfortable spot. The grounds provide many other
sites as well for the couple to consider as ceremony locales. A firepit area is a favorite place to close out the evening for many weddings and parties.

Beginning next year, the Clemmers will rent out their house on the property in the summer, so family and guests can stay right onsite as well, turning it into an entire weekend event. There are also many hotels, lodges, cabins, and cottages available in the area for family and wedding guest accommodations.

The site is a natural locale for fantastic wedding pictures on the grounds or inside the beautifully appointed buildings and the Barn. The combination of the Center’s rustic qualities and the elegance of places on the property like the gardens and waterfalls gives couples flexibility to decide how formal or casual they would like their wedding to be.

The Brule River Barn is not just for weddings. It is a great site for graduation parties, bridal showers, meetings, garden clubs, reunions, or funerals. They are open for events from Memorial Day weekend through mid-October.

For more information, visit their website at The website has many beautiful pictures of the Barn, the other buildings, and the property, as well as many other resources. The site includes a list of caterers and
bakers, bands, DJs, photographers, florists, tent and party rentals, and many other resources to plan an event.

For prices, availability, or to set up a viewing, call (715)372-4898 (land) or (218)590-6301(cell) or e-mail at
The Brule River Barn Wedding and event Center is located at 4496 S. County Highway H, Brule, Wisconsin.