Loll Designs Posts

Commerce on the River: Loll Designs

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OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeIn a manufacturing facility a few hundred feet from Stryker Bay in West Duluth, Greg Benson leads a company dedicated to making outdoor furniture “for the modern lollygagger.” Before launching Loll Designs, however, Benson built skateboard ramps. He started out in his neighbor’s garage and eventually worked with municipalities to design and implement custom skate parks. The excess materials turned out to make attractive and durable Adirondack-style chairs, and a new business was born.

“A lot of people assume that I must have been a skater, but really I enjoy hiking, kayaking, camping and being outdoors much more,” Benson says. He and his brother Dave, both University of Minnesota Duluth graduates, along with Tony Ciardelli , founded both Loll and Epicurean, a company that makes cutting boards and other kitchen products. They sold TrueRide in 2008 to a California company and took what they had learned and ran with it.

Epicurean and Loll represent Duluth in The Atlantic

How America is Putting Itself Back Together
In the March issue of The Atlantic, James Fallows once more talks up Duluth while town-hopping across the country, this time as an example of “hopeless” places reinventing themselves (full article). Scroll down to the subheading “Despite the ‘Big Short,’ Talent Dispersal is Under Way,” where he uses Epicurean/Loll to illustrate the same kind of deliberate migration that Lucie Amundsen so elegantly described in her Saturday essay.

Lollygagger Pale Ale: Bent Paddle and Loll Designs collaborate on new beer to support local bikers

Bent Paddle Lollygagger Pale AleLoll Designs and Bent Paddle Brewing Company are teaming up to release Lollygagger Pale Ale in the coming weeks. It states on the can that 5 percent of sales will be donated to Cyclists of the Gitchee Gumee Shores, a group with the mission to improve cycling opportunities in the Twin Ports. The contribution will be split between Loll and Bent Paddle. The new can design was a collaboration between Bent Paddle owners and Loll graphic designers. Cheers to drinking beer for a great cause. The beer should hit liquor stores by mid July.

Bent Paddle Lollygagger Pale Ale

Lolling across West Duluth and overseas

Loll Designs is moving its production facilities to 59th Avenue West and Waseca Street.

Duluth News Tribune: Loll Designs growing and on the move in Duluth

I bought several Epicurean chopping boards and a trivet where I live now in England over the years at various stockists. They’re great! Hopefully more product lines will be available. Just returned from Denmark and was chuffed to see Epicurean products in Copenhagen’s grandest department store, Magasin du Nord. It would be brilliant if Epicurean/Loll’s webshop could accept payments from international debit/credit cards and customers so I could Xmas shop online for Stateside relatives.

Oh, and every time I see my neighbor’s resin patio table and chairs in our shared back garden, I want to heave. God give me Loll Designs!

Tree Planting in Duluth

Almost exactly a year after the historic flood, we found the timing to be refreshingly ironic as we set off on our annual tree planning exercise. Employees from Loll Designs, Epicurean, and Intectural all joined to plant trees in four areas around Duluth (Amity Creek, Hartley, Kingsbury Creek, and Featherstone Drive). As it is known, erosion from stream beds were hit hard from the flood and we saw that first-hand as we sought to plant and rehab those areas.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s planning to focus on areas in Duluth which need it most. Plus, fresh air and getting your hands a bit dirty is always nice change from the office!

‘Til next year!

2013 tree planting photos here.

Plantin’ Trees (seedlings) is good

Chester Bowl and Amity Creek got another helping hand from employees of Loll Designs, Epicurean Cutting Surfaces, and Intectural last Thursday.

The West Duluth companies completed an annual tree planting initiative on May 26, their fourth year breaking out the shovels and getting their hands dirty. Nearly 2,500 trees were planted in two locations; a tree sparse area in the upper part of Chester Creek Park in the city of Duluth was planted with a mix of evergreen and hardwood species, and for the second year in a row a fallow field was planted with white spruce in the Amity Creek area in East Duluth. 15 employees participated in this year’s event.