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A business with a view to Perham: Ottertail Glass will open April 10 on Main Street

When Ottertail Glass business partners Erik Knutson and Mike Butler decided to open a business in Perham last year, the stars aligned perfectly to allow all the necessary pieces to come together.

Store fronts on the city’s main street are often at a premium in Perham, but with a vibrant business community, one store’s expansion proved to be a boon for Ottertail Glass as well.

“It all went pretty quick,” Knutson said.

The pair have been pleasantly surprised at the reception of their new venture among the Perham business community, as well.

“We’ve had a very good reception from everyone in Perham,” he said. “We’re very excited.”

After looking at one location, which wasn’t a good fit for their business, the two talked to Chuck Johnson, Perham Economic Development Authority director, who knew Second Hand Rose, formerly at 147 E. Main, was moving to a larger location, and that 2,000-square-foot store was the fit Knutson and Butler were looking for, Knutson said. The two have been busy over the winter renovating approximately 900-square-feet of the space into a rustic industrial, yet modern showroom featuring examples of glass and shower glass.

“Everything is so custom,” he said. “We can give examples of what we can do but it is by no means the limit of what we can do.”

The decision to open a store in Perham came after the pair realized they were doing a lot of work in this part of the county. They also believed there was greater potential for growth if they were to open a store in Perham and focus on custom glass work in homes and businesses, Butler said in an interview in December.

“The (Main Street) traffic count is high and we’re right next to (summer) turtle races, so there will be a lot of people walking by and hopefully stopping in,” Knutson said.

The company builds and installs shower glass, commercial projects, store fronts, doors, closers (the hydraulic openers on many business entrance doors) and windows. But shower glass is their signature product, Knutson said.

“We enjoy doing it and each one is different” he said. “Custom glass is what we enjoy doing. If you can dream it, we can most likely do it, or figure out a way to do it.”

Knutson said the services available through the company ranges from cutting openings such as outlets in glass, custom sizing, mirror installations and replacing foggy or cracked glass in dual-paned or thermal windows.

“What we have to offer is unique and custom,” he said. “We can do the standard, stock-size things, but a lot of what we do is one-of-a-kind type jobs. We don’t really ever say no to a job that involves glass.”

The Main Street location is a branch of the original store, located in Fergus Falls.

Ottertail Glass in Perham will officially open on April 10. For more information, contact Mike Butler at 218-346-7310.