FREEPORT -- Our next stop in our Thriving Local series brings us to the small town of Freeport, where a local flooring business has called home since 1970.

"In the early days, it was a lumber yard we sold pole sheds. A guy came through, traveling salesman, dropped off a carpet sample book and the rest is history."

Ed Hennen first started Hennen Floor Covering, Ed's son Joe Hennen now owns the business.

"At the time, early on, when my dad bought this [the business] his brother had the lumber yard at the other end of town, they were partners. So two brothers had two lumber yards in a town of 500 people. As time went on, the lumber portion stuck mostly to that end of town and this kind of morphed into this flooring thing."

And ever since the company has focused solely on flooring. Throughout the years the business has had to compete with large retailers and somehow they've managed to stay afloat.

"Our pricing is competitive theirs. We have really good installers. We have knowledgeable staff that knows we deal with flooring, that's all we do."

Hennen says because of this attention to detail, word has spread about how they treat every customer.

"Most of our customer base is repeat customers or referrals."

Although Freeport is a small town, Hennen Floor Covering is actually in an ideal spot. It's close enough to both St. Cloud and Alexandria and not too far away for people who live in Brainerd. Hennen says they have several customers coming from the Twin Cities metro as well.

But Hennen says what most people travel for - all of the options and samples to see in-person.

"Everything! Carpet, sheet vinyl, a lot of wood floor, a lot of vinyl planking, ceramic tile, laminate, anything on the floor we can pretty much handle."

Hennen Floor Covering also does special ordering for material typically not found in the store. For example, the company recently installed carpet for bowling ally, the carpet featured a bowling pin design and was specifically ordered for the business.

Hennen says they love being in Freeport and their thriving business has plans to stay for many years to come.

If you have a suggestion for a business that's thriving locally here in central Minnesota, let us know! Email

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