Kenny Lanes, the newly reopened bowling alley in Baudette, MN.
Taking the initiative to become an entrepreneur can be a stressful endeavor. Matt and Anna Stein and Matt’s parents, Kenny and Joann Ignaszewski, have found the experience of running a small business fulfilling, thanks to family involvement and the support of the community.
“Our whole family is actively involved in running the business; We all chip in running the kitchen, serving customers, and running the business. Kenny is a mechanical whiz and keeps all of our equipment up and running.”
The inspiration for Kenny Lanes came from a family trip to Duluth nearly 20 years ago, when they stopped at a local bowling alley and discussed how owning a bowling alley would be a great family endeavor and positive addition to their community. Soon, they began making plans to open a bowling center in their hometown of Warroad and even spent time working at a bowling alley in the early 2000s to understand the operations better.
Feeling like the upfront costs of building a bowling alley were out of their means, Matt, Joann, and Kenny put their dream on hold and continued to work at their jobs until last July when Anna saw the Baudette bowling alley listed for sale and said: “I think we can make this work!” The family jumped into the planning, and with help from a loan from the IDC, a local economic development nonprofit, they were able to purchase the business and reopen the bowling alley in December 2021.
“While we all had good jobs, we were motivated to do something for ourselves and bring something back to the community.” It’s been a learning experience. We’ve never owned our own business before. We’ve had hiccups, but we’ve worked together, doing our best, and it’s working!”
Kenny Lanes offers three bowling leagues, open bowling, blacklight bowling on the weekends, and a place to hold parties. With all of the family being music lovers, the family has incorporated musical themes into the entire business including the décor and a musically themed menu that includes burgers, pizza, and sandwiches. Kenny Lanes also serves a variety of cold drinks, including Beer, seltzers, and sodas.
The Lake of the Woods community has actively supported the family as they’ve stepped into small business ownership. Shortly after the bowling alley reopened, a significant power surge knocked out the bowling equipment. A couple of the league bowlers that night were electricians and helped get all the equipment up and running again. Unfortunately, the surge destroyed their pizza oven and upon hearing this news, a neighboring business, donated an older unused pizza oven so they could continue operating.
“The best part has been the support from the community. We’ve been welcomed with open arms, and everyone has been great.”
Kenny Lanes is located just off of Hwy. 11 at 109 4th Ave. NW. For more information check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Kenny-Lanes-102600225574684 or call (218) 242-6838.