Two popular apple orchards in the Twin Cities metro area, one in Shoreview and one in Belle Plaine, have closed after decades in business, and the location of one is slated to become a police station.
In Belle Plaine, Emma Krumbee's orchard and general store has closed, according to a greeting left on the company's voicemail. In the message, the owners thanked their customers for supporting them over the years.
"Thank you for all of you that have come to the festival in the past," it said. "We appreciate your business and hope you have many fond memories with your family and friends enjoying Emma Krumbee's orchard and farm."
In early September, Shoreview's Victoria Valley Orchard, a family-run business that opened in 1966, announced in a Facebook post that it had closed indefinitely. "This was an extremely painful decision for the Papenheim family and we don't know the future of the property at this time," the post said, adding that the 92-year-old proprietor, Molly Papenheim, was "doing fine, but is no longer able to run the Orchard at 92!"
In Belle Plaine, the city entered into a purchase agreement to buy the two parcels of land along Hwy. 169 totaling approximately 30 acres for about $1.8 million, according to a recording of the Belle Plaine City Council meeting on Aug. 7.
The city is considering turning a 15,000-square-foot building on the property into a police station, Council Member Ryan Ladd said during the meeting.
"The flow of the building fits PD's needs," he said. "I think it's a great location in the center of town for the police department — easy access to our main thoroughfares right up on 169."
City Administrator Dawn Meyer told the council that the staff believes it will cost approximately $4 million more to turn the building into a police station.
The purchase will likely come as a surprise to people, said Council Member Patricia Krings.
But, she added, "I do feel it's the best thing for the future, that investment."
A message left at the Emma Krumbee's business number was not immediately returned. The Emma Krumbee's restaurant, which also operated at the site for years, closed in August 2022.