The Memo: Cirrus Aircraft, gourmet veggie biz and more

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A strong start

Duluth-based Cirrus Aircraft appears to have weathered the turbulent first quarter of this year far better than many of its competitors. At least that's one of the take-aways from a shipment report recently published by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

The numbers show that industry-wide, the volume of airplane deliveries slid 20.9% for the first three months of 2020 compared with the same period last year.

But Cirrus bucked that trend, delivering 85 planes — five more aircraft than it did in the first quarter of 2019.

Cirrus' billings were even more impressive, up nearly $11.9 million or an increase of 12.5% compared with Q1 2019. That’s largely because the company sold 18 of its biggest-ticket item SF50 Vision jets — four more than in the same period last year.

Of course, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic upheaval that has accompanied it is likely to put a serious damper on demand for personal aircraft for the remainder of the year. But Cirrus certainly got off to a strong start in 2020.


Gourmet veggies

Here's another positive business story to tell: A Two Harbors business has found success in selling its line of frozen vegetarian comfort food to grocery stores.

Now, you can find Ruth’s Vegetarian Gourmet in even more places. Coborn's grocery stores have picked up the business and is selling its gourmet veggie products in the grocery chain's 60 Minnesota locations, according to a news release.

The family-owned company has seven plant-based products, which offer a vegetarian alternative to normal meat products. Its food includes slides, breakfast patties and vegetarian balls.

Scavenger hunt

The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce has a solution to a (probable) lack of team-building opportunities in our digital workspaces: a city-wide scavenger hunt.

On Thursday, June 18, the scavenger hunt will be an app-based mission, where teams — made up of coworkers or friends — get to explore the city's parks, trails and scenery.

The prize? It's not just the opportunity to socially distance meet with your friends or coworkers. You could also win certificates for the new Northland Strong program. There's an award for the team that completes the most local business support missions, another one for the team with the most creative costume and one award for the team with the most points.

Sign up or get more information at the chamber's website, .

Kelly Busche covers business and health for the News Tribune. The last time she did a scavenger hunt was at the University of Minnesota in 100-degree heat. To her, the chamber's hunt sounds a bit more forgiving. Reporter Peter Passi contributed to this report.

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