New business opens in old matchmill building
Andy Grengs and Kevin Collard are the second business to operate out of the former Diamond Brands building in Cloquet since the match mill closed its doors last summer. Grengs and Collard officially opened TCG Accounting on Monday, Jan. 29, after hosting an open house last week.
The duo has ambitious plans for the future.
"We specialize in small business accounting," Grengs said. "We plan to have 40 locations in the next five years."
According to Grengs, a new kitchenette, fresh paint and a few new walls were added to the area they are renting at the front entrance of the building. They decided to use the desks and a few other pieces of office furniture Royal Oak Enterprises left behind when it purchased the Diamond Brand product line, but not the facility.
Royal Oak also left behind a variety of vintage Diamond Brands memorabilia. The building's new owners, Len Lund and Mike Koski, are sorting through the items and will allow Grengs and Collard to display the items in a room in their new office space.
The Diamond line of matches and toothpick products was produced in Cloquet for almost 100 years. The company was then bought and sold several times. Diamond Match became Diamond Gardner, Diamond National and Diamond International. Diamond Operating Corp. filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001, then Jarden Home Brands bought it out of bankruptcy in 2003. Newell acquired Jarden in 2016 and sold the business in 2017. The brand was sold in April to Georgia-based Royal Oak Enterprises.
Although Royal Oak bought the brand and machinery, the company decided not to purchase the building, which meant the end of the matchmaking operation in Cloquet. The closure cost 85 local residents their jobs.
"We want to respect the heritage of Cloquet and what this building has done for the community," Collard said.
Grengs and Collard originally began looking at a potential office down the street from the old Diamond Brand building. When that fell through, Collard considered the old matchmill building.
Signs of life began to appear last fall when the new owners purchased the building and began cleaning and repairing it. Then a local trucking company began renting the warehouse portion of the building.
TCG Accounting is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.