The recent history of Rainbow Cleaners in Fergus Falls has been one of tension and emotion. The business, located at 112 E. Washington Ave., saw its operation nearly close down twice in the last six months. It wasn’t until recently that owners Odin and Jill Beard have been able to proclaim they are staying open and at the same location.
The cleaners were having issues with the building they operated in and it looked as if they would have to move or close. Weighing the cost of both options, Odin believed that Rainbow Cleaners was going to close its doors. Being convinced to work through the issue, the Beards took the closing sign out of the window — but the problem still persisted.
With neither side coming to an agreement on the building, the cleaners began to prepare to close. “We were closing because we couldn’t afford the repairs needed,” Jill said.
After hearing the news, the city of Fergus Falls and the Port Authority looked to remedy the issue and purchase the building from the owner. At a meeting on Dec. 18, 2019, the Port Authority agreed to draft a non-binding letter of intent to purchase the building and save Rainbow Cleaners.
After a few weeks, talks broke down and the Beards were left with a decision — buy the building or close the doors. “It ultimately ended with the previous owner not accepting the offer of the Port Authority,” Jill said. According to Odin, this is when they would receive a letter from the former owner that they either needed to purchase the building or get out.
Jill and Odin would work fast to collect what was needed to purchase the building and keep the locally owned and operated business from locking up one last time. The Beards were able to purchase the building from the prior owner The couple is now planning to fix the building’s issue with their own money to keep the business operating in Fergus Falls.
So what lies in the future for Rainbow Cleaners and the Beards? Odin and Jill are keeping their ideas close to the vest but hope to add another positive aspect to their business for the community.