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Tenth anniversary for Gathering Grounds

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What began on the craft show circuit and then as a gift shop in the country is now A Place in the Country and The Gathering Grounds at 134 1st Avenue in Perham.

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Ten years ago, Kari Roberts wanted to open a coffee shop serving beverages, lunches and desserts. She convinced her mother, Lynn Johnson, to move her gift shop into the same building.

Lynn and Kari have timed the beginning of their tenth anniversary celebration to coincide with Perham's citywide garden party on April 5. They are also bringing back their popular gelato the same day. The celebration will continue through April 12 with registrations for door prizes and special sales.

Lynn has seen a few changes over the last 10 years. The biggest one for her has been the change in emphasis from gift shop to restaurant.

Gifts, toys, and eclectic home decor are still available, but take up less space in the building than when it opened. Two new seating areas have recently been added. There is a lounge area complete with comfy overstuffed sofas. The second area is right up front with a window view of the street scene.

Two grandchildren have been added to the family, now aged five and nine. They sometimes visit the shop - perhaps training for the future!

For the next 10 years, Lynn just hopes she and Kari can "keep it going and have fun." Clientele and crew receive credit for making the work of running a business fun. Lynn says she is "thankful for the locals who keep it going for 10 months out of the year."

Gathering Grounds/Place in the Country is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 until 5 and on Saturday from 9 to 5.

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