Fargo Snow

The summer is coming to a close, and in this neck of the woods, the snow will by flying sooner than you think. For those of you wanting to be pro-active about your plowing needs this year, call the friendly and professional team at Fargo Snow. This snow and ice management company is one of the biggest and best in town, with hundreds of residential and commercial accounts throughout the South Fargo and West Fargo areas.

The Snow Experts

The folks over at Fargo Snow are dedicated to ensuring their customers’ needs are met; this company is “snow only,” meaning their entire focus is on the pretty white powder that typically becomes the bane of our existence come late fall. Founded in 2007 by Steve Koep, Fargo Snow has grown by leaps and bounds to become the go-to guys when it comes to removing ice and snow.

“I started with one truck back in 2007,” Koep explains. “Now we have a team of 10-12 guys each storm out there getting the job done. It’s been a big change, I learn a little more each year, and it’s been a lot of fun. I really love snow, and I love challenges. The challenges in each storm are different, and that makes it very rewarding to wrap up each storm.”

The Best Machines to Get the Job Done

When asked what sets Fargo Snow apart from their competitors, Koep jumped in immediately.

“That’s easy! We have a fleet (currently 7) of John Deere tractors with snow blowers on them. These tractors are smaller than a pickup, about the size of a Jeep, and they are very nimble and quick. Each of these units is identical and are set up with a 7′ snow blower to quickly and efficiently blow the snow from driveways. Blowing snow is soooo much nicer than using a truck, our customers absolutely love it!”

Koep noted that the vehicles used are always up-to-date and that the fleet is upgraded regularly to ensure the best job done no matter what. In addition to the tractors, the company also has a number of specialty trucks and loaders for the extra-tough jobs.

Social Media + GPS = a Match Made in Snow-Removal Heaven

In addition to their fleet of impressive vehicles, Fargo Snow also keeps their customers informed in real time at all times during a storm. Utilizing GPS units within their vehicles, the technicians can give status updates via social media from the beginning to the end.

“From the time a storm is a “maybe” on the horizon, to during the storm, and after it’s over, we are keeping our customers informed,” says Koep. “With our GPS tracking we know exactly how our routes are going, and we let our customers know by updating our Facebook page. GPS has been a great technology to embrace, and our customers really appreciate that we are sharing our progress during each storm.”

Even if you’re not our customer, I encourage you to “like” us on Facebook, we do our best to keep you informed about the street and weather conditions all winter. (facebook link in article please )*Karen this may be under the photo as a quote?

Stay Ahead of the Curve

While it’s not quite winter yet, the team at Fargo Snow encourages both residential and commercial clients to be pro-active when it comes to their services so they do not get caught off-guard when the first storm hits. Koep breaks it down:

“We have flat rate pricing — Most driveways are only $375 – $395 for the entire winter. This is basically insurance against shoveling snow!”

Fargo Snow also features a customer referral program. For every friend or neighbor you sign up, you get $50 – the folks don’t even have to be on your block.

“You’ve heard of us, you probably already knew our name, you see us servicing your neighbor’s driveway, give us a call and let’s take care of your driveway too!” *Karen – requested as maybe a picture or inline quote?

Winter is Coming – Trust Fargo Snow

When it comes to snow and ice management, Fargo Snow is the name to remember. The fleet is often on the road before city plow trucks and pays special attention to high-traffic areas. In fact, their policy is to automatically clear snow after every 2” accumulation without customers even having to call.

Steve Koep encourages anyone who is in need of snow and ice management to reach out personally, and he will guarantee your needs are met.

“We have hundreds of happy customers with more signing up every year. If you’d like a quote for your driveway or your business please don’t hesitate to call 701-235-SNOW for a free quote, or send me an email to Steve@FargoSnow.com.”

 

Rachelle Gordon

EagleRidge Development

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Are you looking for a new apartment, condo, or townhome in the Fargo/Moorhead area? The team at EagleRidge Development is ready to help you find the perfect home for you and your family. Their dedication to community and quality yet affordable housing means you’re sure to find your new home, sweet home. With over 50 years of combined experience, EagleRidge properties stand the test of time.

The EagleRidge Difference

Designers and developers at EagleRidge pride themselves in being able to maximize the square footage in each unit and offer the best dollar per square foot. They offer high value and quality in order for residents to feel like their rental isn’t just an apartment, it’s a home.

“We aren’t just building apartments, townhomes, villas, or single family developments, we are building communities,” explained EagleRidge representative Abbey Benson. “That’s why we have started having events for our residents and why we have added amenities, such as onsite gyms and playgrounds. We want our residents to feel safe and welcomed, and we think that if we encourage our residents to build a community that is connected, we can achieve that.”

Shadow Crest Townhomes – a New Development for Modern Families

This summer, the Shadow Crest Townhomes came onto the market. They are 7-plex townhomes with 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units.

“These townhomes are unique to the Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo area – you almost have to walk into one to truly understand just how different they are,” said Benson. “They are luxury and in the perfect location – right off of Veterans Boulevard. They all have a private entrance, an attached garage, large walk in closets, a walk out patio or balcony, central heating and cooling, and stainless steel appliances. We currently have two units staged (one 1-bedroom and one 3-bedroom) by Monica Hart Interior Design.”

Benson added that there are currently two specials being offered for Shadow Crest: with an 18-month lease, residents can pick out an accent wall and a backsplash. With any lease that is 13-month or longer, they receive 1 month free.

Something for Everyone

Whether you are looking for a new home in an up-and-coming single family development or need a perfect apartment or townhome, EagleRidge Development has you covered. In order to keep up with growing demand, the company has several developments planned for the future. They currently own nearly 400 acres of underdeveloped single family home properties and 80 acres of multi-family and commercial properties. Give them a call today to see what’s currently available and what’s on deck – you’ll be relaxing in your new home before you know it!

 

By Rachelle Gordon

Breaking Down Investment Options

Are You Financially Ready for Retirement?

Breaking Down the Options:

 

One thing everyone has in common is that they will eventually retire and need the financial resources to care for themselves. Retirement accounts can be a great way to protect oneself from financial difficulties later in life, but exactly how does one go about investing? In today’s volatile and unpredictable economy, it is even more important to secure one’s financial future. The options available to investors, however, can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. With a little information, it is possible for anyone to make sounds financial decisions and fortify their future.

There are several retirement options that can be used for investors. Although each is ultimately similar, there are subtle differences that need to be taken into account before investors jump in. This is in no means a complete explanation of the merits and drawbacks of each plan; however, it does provide an informational place to start. The most common investment options include:

Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs):

Most people are familiar with the concept of an IRA, but exactly how does it work? IRAs are investment plans that allow for tax-free investments up to a certain level. For individuals under 50 years old, the maximum annual of deposit is $5,000. That number jumps to $6,000 after age 50. Although money isn’t taxed going in, it is hit by Uncle Sam going out. In addition, investors must wait until the age of 59 1/2 to withdraw money without penalty. A withdrawal before that date will result in a 10% fine and tax obligations. Investors must begin making withdrawals after the hit age 70 1/2, and cannot make any additional contributions. An early withdrawal can be taken without penalty during certain life events, including buying a first house, paying for qualifying medical expenses, or losing a job.

Many IRAs are self-directed, meaning the investor can choose where his/her funds go. Without this ability to self-direct, investors are forced to accept the decisions of the IRA trustee or custodian. A benefit of self-directed IRAs is that investors are allowed to diversify their portfolios with assets other than bank CDs, stocks, or mutual funds.

Roth IRAs:

Roth IRAs are very similar to traditional IRAs. The primary difference is that contributions to a Roth account are taxed going in, and tax-free coming out. Contributions don’t ever automatically trigger, regardless of the age of the investor. In addition, investors can continue to make contributions after the age of 70 1/2. Finally, most Roth IRAs contain fewer withdrawal restrictions than do traditional IRAs. As long as the account has been in existence for over 5 years, withdrawals are not penalized. Not everyone qualifies for a Roth IRA, however. For an individual, the annual adjustment gross income must be below $107,000; AGI for a joint account must be under $169,000.

401(k) Accounts:

An IRA account is individual-driven, while the 401(k) account is employer-driven; they are a popular investment vehicle for many companies. Most 401(k) contributions are taken out of a paycheck before the employee even sees it, making it an easy way to invest. Unlike an IRA, which is based solely on the investor’s contributions, many employers offer excellent contribution matching programs that allow employees to maximize their investment opportunities.

Unlike other accounts, 401(k) funds to not have to be withdrawn at a certain age, although they can be withdrawn without penalty after age 59 1/2. As long as an employee continues working for the company that set up the account, contributions can continue. One of the drawbacks of 401(k) accounts is that investments are often limited to the vehicle the company sets up.

SEP-IRAs:

For self-employed people or those owning extremely small businesses, the Simplified Employer Pension (SEP)-IRA may be the way to go. These IRAs follow the same rules and regulations as traditional IRAs. SEP-IRAs allows employees to invest up to 20% of net self-employment income or 25% of W-2 wages. It should be noted that 401(k) plans are also available to small businesses or self-employed individuals.

Precious Minerals IRAs:

Many people incorrectly believe that retirement accounts must be based on stock market investments. What people don’t realize is there are other options for your accounts, including investing in precious metals. Unlike stocks, which are at the mercy of an unpredictable stock market, gold and other precious metals are a solid, tangible asset that will not lose value.

There are several avenues of precious metals investment, including purchasing actual physical metal or investing in a variety of claims like future contracts and exchange traded funds (ETFs).
The instability of the economy has made investing in solid and predictable assets a popular alternative to traditional investments. Both IRA and 401(k) accounts can be used to purchase precious metals. IRA accounts may need to be rolled-over into a Precious Metals IRA, depending on the restrictions of the current plan.

 

By Jamee Larson

Power Plate Meals: Healthy Doesn’t Have to be Boring

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How many times have you found yourself crunched for time or too exhausted from a long work day to cook? What options do you have? Order a pizza? Run to the nearest McDonalds? Eat something simple like cereal (my current go-to meal)? Eating healthy can be expensive and time-consuming, but it doesn’t always have to be.

Seth Houkom and fiancé Haylee Swanson know what it’s like to need a quick meal that entails little fuss and even littler mess. Seth is a farmer who owns his own construction company, while Haylee is a registers nurse who works with premature babies in the NICU. They both grew up in West Fargo, a community that doesn’t have many mechanisms in place to provide meals that are both convenient and healthy. Enter Power Plate Meals, the newest addition to the area’s paradigm shift towards health and accountability.

Power Plate Meals offers fully cooked, pre-packaged, healthy, and convenient meal options that can be shipped to your front door. These do not arrive in cardboard boxes that contain frozen “healthy” meals that offer little actual nutritional value and taste like the box they are packaged in. Power Plate Meals offers hand-made meals that include unprocessed proteins, healthy carbs and fats, and vegetables. Best of all, Power Plate’s ingredients are all pronounceable. No more “hydro”- this or “brominated”- that.

Power Plate Meals opened its doors in January, with Seth and Haylee each putting on a variety of hats. Currently, Hayley handles the company’s social media profile and its marketing duties; Seth runs the cooking side of the company. “We have now had a chef for over a month, so I can do some things on the business side, but I still oversee meals and the breaking down of macros and nutrition,” Seth explained.

Companies like Power Plate are often geared towards body builders. As a result, Seth (a former body builder) wasn’t sure if the general public would be interested in the company’s products. “We wanted to offer a healthy option for the business man or woman, or anybody really,” he explained. “The results have been great. Our average customer is wealthier females between the ages of 30 and 40. That is now our target audience.”

Power Plate has developed a signature line that includes delectable meals like BBQ chicken and sweet corn on the cob, chocolate/banana protein pancakes, turkey porcupine meatballs, and chicken mac and cheese. Custom meals can also be created using steak, cod or salmon, chicken, ground turkey, and ground beef. The meals are affordable as well, with the average meal costing about $7.50.

For Seth and Haylee, it is all about helping customers make healthy choices. “We are very passionate about our food. We care and want to share our food experiences with others,” Seth explained. “Healthy doesn’t have to be boring.”

Meals can be purchased online or in their new West Fargo store. Located in the Pioneer Center at 1380 9th Street East, Suite 605, the store is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. The company currently ships to North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. More information can be found at www.powerplatemeals.com.

 

By Jamee Larson

NoBull Smokehouse: Satisfy Your Meat Tooth

Anyone who has ever enjoyed meat right out of a smoker was ecstatic when NoBull Smokehouse opened its doors in May of 2015. Those that had never experienced that smoky flavor quickly became fans. For anyone who has yet to do either, you are missing out.

For General Manager Emilie Fischer, it’s all about the smoke. The meat at the NoBull Smokehouse is smoked with a unique blend of locally-sourced red and white oak. Serving what can be considered traditional Northern Barbecue, the restaurant is quickly garnering a reputation as having the best-smoked meats in the area.

NoBull offers a variety of menu options, including smoked sausage, lightly pulled smoked pork, northern oak-smoked ribs, fresh buttermilk infused northern friend chicken fingers, and chicken and waffles. “The chicken and waffles which was part of our original menu is still a guest favorite,” Fischer said. “Combining the sweet of the waffles and the salt of the chicken is a real fan favorite.”

Another must-try is the Picture Perfect appetizer platter. Consisting of a pound of pulled pork, five rib bones, three smoked sausages, five fresh buttermilk infused fried chicken fingers, and slaw, dressing, gravy, best beans, pickles, bread, and your choice of sauces. The colossal platter is definitely not for amateurs.

In addition to unique, mouthwatering meals, NoBull is also known for its ambiance. “Our atmosphere is one-of-a-kind,” Fischer said. “One needs to come check out the place to really get the full feeling.” Trying to find a similar restaurant setting in the area would be an exercise in futility. From its rustic interior to the outdoor patio in the back, NoBull has set itself apart within the industry. Add to that a garage door in the front of the restaurant that allows customers to get the feeling of being outside, regardless of where they sit, and you have a dining experience that is without equal.

As NoBull continues to grow, they will be offering more events and special. According to Fisher, rib-a-palooza will be starting soon. Sound intriguing? It is. The special will give diners two ribs for the price of one every Two-sday from 5:00 to 10:00 pm. The new theme will join the current Swine and Wine special that take place on Wednesdays when diners who buy one bottle or glass of wine can get a second for only a penny.

NoBull Smokehouse is located at 609 NP Avenue in Fargo and open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am until done. “Until done?” you may ask. Yes, until done. An exact time cannot be given because the restaurant smokes only enough meat to serve on any given day. When the meat is gone, it is gone. Although unconventional, the custom is an example of NoBull’s unwavering commitment to excellence. Want to avoid an empty plate? You better get their early.

If you haven’t been to NoBull, you have already waited too long. It doesn’t matter if you go for the food, the atmosphere, or the daily specials – you just need to go. “We are a family restaurant so you get to pick what you want to eat. Our staff is fast, friendly, and loves to help you decide what you are going to #pigout on for your meal,” Fisher explained. “Please stop in and give us a try sometime. You will leave full and happy.”

More information, including a full menu, can be viewed at www.nobullfargo.com.

 

By Jamee Larson

 

Altony’s Italian Café: Your Authentic Italian Experience is Just Down the Road

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Anyone who has ever traveled to a different country knows that sampling the local cuisine is a sure-fire way to experience the essence of the culture. Visit Mexico and you cannot leave with enjoying chilaquiles, tamales, or authentic mole sauce. Leave Ireland without trying bangers and mash or depart Australia before dining on a chiko roll and your experience is lacking.

Likewise, a visit to Italy must involve such delicacies as bigoli, tortellini, caccincco, ravioli, and prosciutto. Many of us, however, will likely never make it across the pond. Does that mean we are sentenced to a life of Campbell’s spaghetti o’s or beef ravioli? Fortunately, no. There is another way thanks to Moorhead’s Altony’s Italian Café.

Altony’s is somewhat of a secret to many area residents. Located in a small building on Highway 10 East that used to house a Taco Bell, Altony’s is an unassuming restaurant that doesn’t rely on flashy marketing strategies or gaudy billboards. Instead, Altony’s focuses on providing diners with an authentic Italian experience, trusting that word-of-mouth is the only advertising they need.

One visit to Altony’s and a few truths emerge. Not only are the restaurant’s signature meals affordable, the portions are huge. All food is made from scratch and served as three courses – salad, the entrée, and ice cream. Yes, I said it. Ice cream is included in the meal. Does it get any better?

Although much of Altony’s focus is on Italian food, the restaurant also offers American favorites such as chicken strips and grilled chicken. Most diners don’t go to Altony’s, however, for the burgers; it is all about Italy. Diners can start with an authentic Italian appetizer like bruschetta, calamari, or ravioli before moving on to one of the restaurant’s signature entrees.

Altony’s primary dishes include delicacies like seafood ravioli, grilled salmon, Tuscany pork tenderloin, ratatouille, Rosa tortellini, steak penne alfredo, or my personal favorite, Antony’s famous lasagna. If you can eat even half of the gigantic portion you have my utmost respect. It is usually enough for at least two meals, and if you think Altony’s food is amazing the first time, wait until you enjoy the leftovers.

In addition to its extraordinary menu, Altony’s also offers a dining atmosphere that is charming and intimate. With a focus on warmth and genuine hospitality, the restaurant is able to create an authentic Italian experience that highlights the importance of good food and a family to share it with.

If you have never been to Altony’s Italian Café, you truly do not know what you are missing. Located at 3102 Highway 10 East, the restaurant is the closest many of us will ever get to Italy. It is well worth the visit.

Altony’s is open Monday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. More information including a full menu and description of nightly specials can be found at www.altonysitalion.com.

 

By Jamee Larson