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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Building begins at Mark Thomas Co.

  • Construction has begun on a 4,400 square foot addition at Mark Thomas Co., 120 Pine St. NE, in Sleepy Eye. The addition will connect the main Mark Thomas Co. plant to the adjacent Zinniel Boring facility, a 6,000 sq. ft. building which the company purchased a year ago. The main plant was built in 2004.
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  • Construction has begun on a 4,400 square foot addition at Mark Thomas Co., 120 Pine St. NE, in Sleepy Eye. The addition will connect the main Mark Thomas Co. plant to the adjacent Zinniel Boring facility, a 6,000 sq. ft. building which the company purchased a year ago. The main plant was built in 2004.
     
    “We have been bursting at the seams for years, and are happy to see this addition get under way,” said company president Mark Beito.
     
    Farasyn Construction is erecting the building. Heiderscheidt Digging, Wurtzberger Construction, Sleepy Eye Electric, JP Plumbing and Ahrens Heating are also participating in the project. Eric Oleson of Oleson + Hobbie Architects, Mankato, is the architect.
     
    When complete, the combined building will total 24,000 square feet. It will house the company’s offices, plus printing, cremation urns and shipping.
     
    In addition to its main plant, Mark Thomas Co. also operates a wood shop and a ceramic studio in separate buildings at the corner of Second Avenue NE and Pine Street. Crosses and crucifixes, cremation urns, flag cases, and funeral home furniture are produced there.
    The Mark Thomas Co. complex is an example of the redevelopment of a former industrial site. For nearly a century, A.J. Pietrus and Sons (later Pietrus Foods and Sleepy Eye Foods) operated a poultry processing plant there. The City of Sleepy Eye razed the old Pietrus building in 2000, and made the property available for development.
     
    The former Pietrus goose hatchery at 200 Pine St. NE was purchased by Mark Thomas Co. in 1993 and is now the company’s ceramics studio.
     
    Mark Thomas Co. is a nationally known manufacturer and distributor of funeral memorial products, supplying over 4,000 funeral homes annually. The company employs 35 people, and is owned by Mark and Sandra Beito and Casey and Julia Coulson. It was started by the Beito family in 1990.
     
    In May, the company was honored by the Sleepy Eye Area Chamber of Commerce as Sleepy Eye’s 2014 Business of the Year.

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