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Stanley Steemer opens in Hermantown

Have a business tip or story idea for The Memo? Send it to bbredsten@duluthnews.com.

Stanley Steemer
Stanley Steemer recently opened a new location in Hermantown. The franchise owned and operated by Scott Sorenson and wife, Colleen Kelley. Pictured are Colleen Kelley and their son, General Manager Derek Sorenson.
Contributed / Derek Sorenson
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HERMANTOWN — A new Stanley Steemer opened in the last month at 4786 Morris Thomas Road, serving a 90-mile radius. The franchise is family owned and operated by Scott Sorenson and his wife, Colleen Kelley. Services include cleaning of carpets, wood flooring, tile, grout, upholstery, air ducts, linoleum and area rugs.

Scott first began working for Stanley Steemer out of Minneapolis after serving as as field artillery in the U.S. Marines. In 1988, he and Kelley started their own Stanley Steemer in St. Cloud while living in a modest apartment and eating lots of ramen noodles, according to their son and general manager, Derek Sorenson. The business grew and eventually expanded to include locations in Wilmer, Brainerd, Alexandria, Elk River and most recently, Hermantown.

"Duluth has so much potential," Derek Sorenson said. "It's a great town with tons of population. The household income is good. There is tons of opportunity with upcoming businesses and people moving there."

Longtime family friend Nikolas Johnson is the manager of Hermantown's Stanley Steemer. Johnson began working for Scott and Kelley at their St. Cloud location and transferred to the corporate Stanley Steemer in Fort Collins, Colorado, before returning to Minnesota to man the new Hermantown location.

Johnson and Derek grew up playing hockey together, and both said they are proud to work for a business that supports community sports. Growing up, Derek and his sister participated in hockey, baseball, BMX racing, soccer, basketball and golf, he said.

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"We like to make sure kids get the proper equipment, jerseys and have the opportunity to get out and play for those who are less fortunate," Derek said.

Out of more than 300 Stanley Steemer locations, Kelley was recently recognized with the Maxine Bates Award for her outstanding support of the community through sponsoring youth and adult athletic activities, customer service and being a woman in the industry. The award is named after founder of Stanley Steemer Carpet Cleaner Jack Bates' wife.

According to Maxine's obituary in The Herald, "no job was beneath her. She did it all from booking jobs to washing the crews’ uniforms and cleaning the bathrooms. Maxine became the ‘face and spirit’ of Stanley Steemer where the company created the Maxine Bates Award to recognize and celebrate women who showed their dedication and passion in the franchise system."

The industry, as a whole, is very busy now coming out of the worst of the pandemic, Derek said.

"When the pandemic hit, we saw a big drop in job count. People didn't want others in their home," he said. "After the pandemic slowed down, people became more comfortable, and we're seeing a big boom. People hadn't had carpets cleaned in over a year and a half."

Brielle Bredsten The Memo

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Brielle Bredsten is the business reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Professional Writing & Technical Communication, with minors in Advertising and Creative Writing from Metropolitan State University, in addition to a two-year professional paid internship as reporter/editor of the student newspaper.

She is an award-winning professional writer, photographer and editor based in rural Minnesota. Over the past decade, Brielle Bredsten has contributed more than 1,000 articles, feature stories, non-profit press-releases, photographs and columns. Her work has been published in several community newspapers.

Send her story tips, feedback or just say hi at bbredsten@duluthnews.com.
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Have a business tip or story idea for The Memo? Send it to bbredsten@duluthnews.com.