The community has embraced the new business
By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
As of Feb. 1, Pierz now boasts an optical center in town. Ken and Heike Dodge, the owner of Falls Optical in Little Falls, opened their second storefront, Pierz Eye-care, in the rear of the Thrifty White Pharmacy building on Main Street.
“This has been in the works for awhile,” said Ken. “When Wolff Drug left, the community rallied to bring another pharmacy into town. Resident and business owner Howie Schomer erected a building on Main Street to lease to Thrifty White and he called me to see if I would be interested in opening an eye clinic in the back.”
Ken said he had just opened the clinic in Little Falls and when Schomer was ready for a commitment, Ken was not.
“I wasn’t sure if I would be spreading myself too thin with both businesses,” he said.
But, Ken, who is known to make house calls when the occasion warrants, knew the potential and wanted to get in before Schomer possibly found another taker for the spot. Plus, he was being encouraged by members of the Pierz community. Ready or not, he said “Yes,” to Schomer and the decorating began in November, to the Dodges’ specifications.
“Ken has worked at dozens of offices in his career,” said Heike. “He took the best of what he’s seen and worked with and incorporated it into the Pierz operation.”
She said this has been a dream of theirs for years.
“This wouldn’t have worked if I didn’t think the community was supportive,” said Ken. “It’s been a better response than I expected. Pierz is a great place to start a business.”
Heike said they could not have asked for a better community to work with.
“They have accepted us like family and are actually concerned that we succeed,” she said. “I feel very humble about that.”
Plus, she said they were blessed to be able to work with Schomer and the Pierz Commercial Club.
When Ken is in the Pierz office, business has been hectic. Heike said she will be hiring help soon.
Their children, Gunther, Hayden and Nordica all attend Pioneer Elementary School in Pierz, so the Dodges already feel part of the community
“We are here to build relationships that will last a lifetime,” said Heike.
The Little Falls operation is open five days a week and Pierz is open four days a week. Dodge will be in Little Falls Monday through Friday except when he’s in Pierz, typically Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons. He will open the Pierz site one or two Saturdays a month and the Little Falls site one Saturday a month.