ST. CLOUD (WJON News) - A central Minnesota staple is celebrating 50 years in business on Wednesday.

Custom Catering by Short Stop started as a family-owned and operated restaurant in Sauk Rapids in 1974 before adding catering to the business in the late 1980s.

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Co-owner Byron Bjorkland started as an 11-year-old milkshake maker.

The gift of the whole restaurant was the family farm playing restaurant; learning how to deal with the public and run a little business. That really turned out to be the magic of the whole thing.

Since then, Bjorklund says the face of restaurants has changed dramatically.

Back then, believe it or not, we didn't know what a submarine sandwich was. When Subway came on the scene, that was a revolutionary thing. Your choices were pizza, burgers, tacos. The plethora of offerings, and the diversity of offerings, has really made the retail restaurant scene very competitive.

Custom Catering by Short Stop now has over 150 employees catering events throughout the region.

In addition, they are the preferred catering provider for several event centers and prepare the cold food offerings for Bernick’s vending machines throughout Eastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.

Custom Catering was the winner of the “Best in Minnesota – Catering” award in 2014, and owners Byron and PegAnne Bjorklund were named the Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year in 2010.

While the catering business is a main focus, Custom Catering by Short Stop is still open Thursdays from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm for dine-in and take-out.

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