When I received confirmation that I would be attending a Builder Tour in Warroad I didn’t have any expectations of what this trip would be like. Every Hastings employee smiled and said, “You’ll have a great time” when they heard I was going, which immediately led me to believe there is a deep dark secret that no one is speaking of, kind of like when you are pregnant with your first child and no one tells you the real scoop of what is in store for you.
My co-worker Kim Viviano and I met very early at the airport with our one carry-on bag (Gentlemen, it’s not easy being a woman packing for 4 days in one small carry-on bag) and set off on what we called “Mo and Kim’s Most Excellent Adventure”. As soon as we met up in Minneapolis with Hastings sales rep Nate Marsh, Scott Bishop from Millwork Masters, and the 5 builders in our group, the most excellent adventure began.
First stop was Menomonie, WI at the Cardinal Float Glass plant. We toured the facility peeling off layers as we strolled through the excessive heat observing the impressive process of producing float glass from the furnace to packing. I’m not going to lie to you, for a brief moment I thought I was going down. After sweating off 10 lbs each, we headed off to dinner in quaint Hudson, WI and like any good Cheesehead, I ordered cheese curds and a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. Both were out of this world!
The next morning we headed over to Signature Terminal to board the Marvin jet. It was a beautiful day to fly and I saw firsthand why Minnesota is nicknamed Land of 10,000 Lakes. Upon landing in Warroad we were escorted to the place we would call home for the next 3 days, The Patch. I felt a little bit like Dorothy when she realized she wasn’t in Kansas anymore. I can best describe Warroad as a cross between Pleasantville and Mayberry. Everyone we met was extremely friendly and I swear the air was just a bit fresher than anywhere else I have visited.
One of the highlights of the trip to Warroad was the fishing excursion on Lake of the Woods. We were jigging and the fish were biting! We pulled in many of the infamous walleye, as well as a few jumbo perch. We enjoyed the 34 fish we caught during a laid back fish fry an hour after getting back on land. The catch of the day does not get any fresher than that.
Another “must see” in Warroad is The Shed, a classic and muscle car collection displaying approximately 80 cars. Admittedly, I am not a gear head so after the first 20 cars or so I was all set. Fortunately, the owner of The Shed and Mayor of Warroad, Bob Marvin, was there and we had a great conversation about the sports scene in MN and Boston.
But let’s not forget the reason for the trip to Warroad which is to visit Marvin Windows and Doors. The hospitality provided by Marvin Tours and Training is second to none. From the moment we stepped foot in Warroad our entire visit was careful planned and seamlessly orchestrated. Our day and a half with Marvin consisted of the factory tour and product training. I was extremely proud to be a Hastings employee while listening to the tour instructor speak of the partnership with Hastings and refer to us as their best customer. The builders on this tour were very impressed with the factory tour and with having the opportunity to see so many hands touch a window before it goes out the door. True craftsmanship!
Like all good things, Mo & Kim’s Most Excellent Adventure came to an end and we all returned to New England with stronger relationships and a deeper appreciation for each Marvin window and door that is produced. I would not hesitate to visit Warroad again if invited, well, maybe not during the winter months. You betcha!