Temperance Traders Bring “Trading Post Mentality” to Schroeder Area
Temperance Traders in Schroeder offers people in the west end of Cook County a variety of products and services. “We have a Trading Post mentality,” said Patrick Reeves, Co-owner and General Manager of the business.
Patrick and his co-owner, wife Christina, purchased the Temperance Trader property in May 2020. They bought the property because it had four cabins they could rehabilitate to help provide affordable, long-term housing in Cook County. It also included a liquor store they initially hoped to have someone else operate. While fixing up the cabins, it was apparent they’d also need to run the liquor store.
The two owners saw more needs in the community.
Added to the Temperance Liquor store building first was the Speakeasy Thrift Store offering quality secondhand items.
Next was North Shore Ebike, renting Ebikes and selling bike accessories just off the Gitchi Gami Bike Trail.
The Campstore offers a wide range of camping and RV supplies and accessories.
Most recently, they added a hardware division selling everything from fasteners to tools and storage options to plumbing supplies.
Temperance Traders is a U-Haul location. Campfire wood and ice are available too.
Superior Properties North Shore LLC is the first business Patrick and Christina started in Cook County in 2014. They took over a small caretaking/maintenance business that had 22 accounts. Today the company serves 150 clients monthly, cleaning and caretaking rental units. They also do maintenance and repair, general remodeling, and dock building. With five plow trucks, snow removal provides plenty of work for the winter.
The Reeves business model is built on the collective production of each business unit and is independent of any offering to provide year-round stability in the business and year-round employment for its full-time staff.
“We try to offer above-market wages,” Patrick said. All full-time employees are offered health insurance that is 50% paid for by the company.
Patrick lived all over the country while growing up. “I attended 9 or 10 different elementary schools,” he said.
Christina grew up in upstate New York.
The two met while both worked at the Sugar Bush Ski Resort in Warren, VT, after college.
They spent time in Vermont and Washington before moving to the Twin Cities. Patrick’s father worked for a St. Paul-based company, and his move up the corporate ladder brought them there.
The young couple built a successful consulting practice but dreamed about owning their own resort someday.
“We’re not city folks,” Patrick said. The Reeves spent three years looking at resort properties they might like to buy, but they couldn’t come together on any of them.
When they came to Grand Marais to look at the Tomteboda Motel property, they were near the end of the search. Tomteboda proved unsuitable, but the realtor they were working with offered a property maintenance business she owned. They took that over in 2014 and have been working hard ever since.
“We plan to be open year-round and keep jobs filled year-round,” Patrick said. They have 15-20 full-time employees at any given time. “Our economy here in Cook County does well if businesses are open year-round,” Patrick added.
As for the future, Patrick said, “More housing is our first priority. We would like to find more cabins to make available for long-term rentals to residents and seasonal workers in the West End of Cook County.”
Asked to describe one thing he is proudest of accomplishing, Patrick said, “We’ve built our own micro-community with our staff that extends to the property owners we work with.”
The Reeves have brought much-needed employment and housing to Cook County. Not yet, but almost 50 years old, Patrick looks to be a job builder for more years to come.
Information on the businesses is online at www.superiorpropertiesns.com and www.temperancetraders.com.