BROOTEN, Minn. (WCCO) — Inside the Redhead Creamery store in rural Brooten, the same group that works together on the dairy farm gathered for their Thursday ritual — a meeting they thought earlier this week might be indefinitely delayed.
That’s because a storm on Tuesday barreled through their land northwest of the Twin Cities, flattening crops, toppling trees and tearing up the roof of the building where they sell their homemade cheese, jams and charcuterie board cookbooks.READ MORE: 'It Was Pretty Chaotic': At Least 3 Dead In Montana Amtrak Train Derailment
“It happens so fast and you’re just kind of in shock – it feels surreal like you’re not believing what you’re seeing,” said Linda Jennissen, one of the owners of the dairy farm that opened a creamery business six years ago.
But the weekly staff meeting went on as usual, just days after the storm. It was made possible by friends, neighbors, and colleagues who stepped up to help, fixing the store’s roof in one day. By Tuesday night, hours after the severe weather dealt the blow earlier that morning, it looked brand new.
“It tells me a lot about how important a good community is and building good relationships is and how important that is to all of us,” Jerry Jennissen said, at a table surrounded by his family and employees.
His wife agreed: “It’s great to know that we have such a great team here that’s here to help us get through things like this.”
The Jennissens said the drought this year that’s impacted nearly all of Minnesota has already made things tough for the corn they grow. The scope of the crop damage from this week’s storm is still unknown, but they said it’s clear they will probably need to buy feed for their 200 cows elsewhere.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: #Top10WxWeekend Continues With Summery Sunday
There was a special urgency, though, in repairing their store to keep their product on shelves intact. It represents the investment they’ve made in their four-decades old business. But practically speaking, they had orders of to fill.
“We could’ve easily said we can’t do it,” Linda Jennissen said.
They could’ve said no – anyone would understand given the circumstance.
But instead a large shipment of cheese did make it to grocery store shelves without any delay.
“The storm was not over before Tim decided that we were still making cheese,” Jerry Jennissen joked.MORE NEWS: MN Rep. Ilhan Omar Visits Afghan Evacuees At Fort McCoy Calling It 'Uplifting' And 'Emotional'
The Redhead Creamery will be back open for customers at their shop in Brooten on Friday and Saturday.