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9/18/2003

Prime time

By Susan McCann
Times-Call Correspondent

LYONS — Lyons has a lot going for it, but a couple opening a new store in two weeks hopes to fill in some of the town’s retail holes.

Lyons General Store, a packaging and shipping store with a drop-off for dry cleaning, will open on or about Oct. 1 at 339B Main St. The store will be owned and operated by Lyons residents Hanno and Kathy Jensen.

When the couple moved to Lyons from southern California five years ago, they looked around the town and thought it would be fun to operate a small business.

“Hanno spent 28 years in the computer and electronics industry, and we had thought of owning a small business when we first moved here,” said Kathy. “We liked the town, and we spent a lot of time at town board meetings. We joined the chamber, and we thought it would be neat to have a small business here.”

Before they could develop their idea, both Hanno and Kathy started jobs that occupied all their time. Hanno went to work for Maxtor, and Kathy began working as an apprentice/assistant to Mike Clark, a bamboo rod maker and owner of South Creek Ltd. in Lyons.

But when Hanno was laid off from Maxtor along with 350 other people last December, the idea of opening a business in Lyons began to develop. Hanno, who was the senior director for worldwide commodity management at Maxtor, said he decided that “if you can’t find a job, create your own.”

“I had several job interviews in the area and in California and other states,” he said. “I’ve been out looking and looking, and now I’m going to create my own job.”

The store will offer packaging services, gift wrapping and shipping with United Parcel Service, Federal Express, private carriers and the U.S. Postal Service. Gift wrapping, fax service and some copying services for small businesses will be available. Some office supplies will be for sale, including envelopes, pens and other items. New services may be added along the way.

“We will try to accommodate requests from the community, and we will offer discounts for seniors,” said Kathy. “We want to offer some of the services to the community that we got tired of driving out of town for.”

One of those services is dry cleaning. Many in town have expressed the need for a dry cleaning service in town. The Jensens have worked out an agreement with Meadowview Dry Cleaners in Longmont. Clothes can be dropped off at the store and will be returned to Lyons within approximately three days.

The price for the dry cleaning will be exactly the same as if clients took their clothes directly to the cleaners on Airport Road in Longmont.

“We are offering this as a service to the community,” said Kathy.