News St. Joseph — 15 May 2014
A historical perspective from 25 years ago

May 12, 1989

Expansion in St. Joseph more than evident

by Janelle Von Pinnon

Contardo opens doors to new clinic building

Dr. Michael Contardo will move his existing dental practice to the new clinic building on First Avenue NW and be open for business beginning Monday, May 5.

“We need more space,” Contardo said. “We are tired of bumping into each other all the time. We have been operating in a tiny office meant to be utilized for part-time practice. There was nothing to suit our needs that we could rent or lease so we built a new building so we could customize it to meet our needs.”

Originally from Duluth, Minn., Contardo took a liking to the St. Joseph area during a summer internship from college.

“I had the unique opportunity to spend a summer between my junior and senior year, working at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center and Dental Clinic.

“The people I worked with really impressed me. I enjoyed the area, its people and values. I found it a place I’d like to live and eventually raise a family.”

So, after he graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1978, Contardo became a partner in Family Dental Providers, St. Cloud. For the past 10 years, he worked two to three days a week in St. Joseph; the other two or three days were spent in St. Cloud. Last November, the partnership dissolved and Contardo chose to begin his full-time practice in St. Joseph.

“The primary reason to start in St. Joseph was to be with the same patients all the time – give my best to the community of St. Joseph,” Contardo said. “I love people and I love helping them. Dentistry is a unique way of helping people and getting to know them.”

The old building was 600 square feet while the new building is 1,600 square feet. Contardo said the average solo office space is generally 1,500 square feet. The new clinic has a generous reception area, file room, office space for Contardo, a lab, a lounge and four treatment rooms.

“All four rooms can be utilized for hygiene or dental treament,” he continued. “The equipment we will be using is still excellent, but I felt we should change over while we had the chance. I sent our used equipment – chairs, X-ray equipment and hand pieces – to the orphanage in Port-au-Prance, Minn., where I had done some missionary work.

“The decision to go out on my own is due, largely, to the support of my staff. They are a big part of my clinic. They are fantastic people to work with – very talented and caring. There’s no doubt the people you work with is what makes a clinic.”

Contardo is married to Marilynn Olsen. Together they are raising their family of four children: Cori, 17, Eden, 8, Briana, 6, and Matson, 4.

Dr. Contardo and his staff will move into this new clinic on Monday, May 15. Since November, Contardo has operated a full-time practice in St. Joseph

Deutz, Schneider open gas and bait shop

St. Joseph Gas and Bait, Highway 75, opened for business Wednesday.

Last October, Michael Deutz and Dale Schneider bought the Union 76 station and switched to the Amoco Oil Co.

“We bought the station with the idea of adding a bait shop and convenience store,” Deutz said. “The other bait and tackle (shop) close up in October.”

The new 4,000-square-foot building houses a convenience store (half the building) and a bait and tackle shop (a quarter of the building).

“The bait shop will sell a full line of bait as well as tackle items and fishing gear,” Deutz said.

He and Schneider will rent out the other quarter of the building once the interior construction is completed. Dominos Pizza was considering the space but backed out of the deal a few weeks ago.

Schneider also owns Sal’s Bar, St. Joseph. Deutz owns Central Motorcar Specialties carwash and body shop, also St. Joseph.

Mike Deutz and Dale Schneider display the live bait fish tank in the new St. Joseph Gas and Bait, Highway 75, St. Joseph, which opened this week. The shop also offers fishing gear and convenience items.

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Janelle Von Pinnon
Janelle Von Pinnon

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