MANNING, Iowa — Community leaders in Manning met with Governor Kim Reynolds when she came to visit the Manning Market. This business will turn four years old next weekend. It was started by Jaime England when she and her husband wanted to move back home from Des Moines.
The Market Place has gotten great reviews for offering a wide variety as a home decor boutique and women’s boutique as well as a coffee shop. The store features wide open spaces in place of a the former variety store located there.
“What would be fun to open? What would be something new to do? It turned into what could Manning use, what would we miss about the Des Moines area if we move back,” said England. “I wanted something fresh and creative and constantly changing because that’s fun.”
Reynolds took a brief tour of the Market Place, prior to meeting with community leaders. At the start of the gathering they asked those under 40 years old who owned businesses to raise their hand, and hands went up across the room.
“I didn’t really have a background in business,” said England. “I’m a physical therapist, no business classes, I had to Google how to start a coffee shop, what’s the difference between a latte and mocha.”
Reynolds also had her photo taken by the huge “IOWA” sign on the end of Main Street.
“A Main Street that’s just second to none to bringing young people back to their community,” said Reynolds. “They’re addressing elderly housing, they’re addressing child care, there’s new business startups.”
The governor said she wants to go help more Iowa towns do what Manning has done.
Manning leaders have worked on a number of projects to make the community better. That includes the new park with the IOWA sign, a large Coca-Cola mural, working to help keep the doors open on a long-time business that was planning to close and working to help the schools be the best they possibly can.
“The can-do attitude, also the way the community has come together, is just remarkable,” said Reynolds. “It’s a story we need to tell, and I think that other communities could emulate across the state.”
The governor also interviewed a number of young business owners with her cell phone camera about why they moved to Manning. She said she plans to use the comments in “This is Iowa” promotional videos.
“We believe now we’re in a position to market ourselves as a place to live, work, play, etc.,” said Ron Reischl, former board president of Main Street Manning.
Reischl added that they have worked to involve many of the under-40 business leaders in helping to chart the future course for the town.