Monthly Archives: Jun 2017


Random Access – Show #4 – No Fake Noodles Here!

One of the newest restaurants to open in Mason City, Iowa is called Z’mariks Noodle Café. I had a chance to sample some of their great pasta at Social Media Breakfast in late May and then took a tour of the facilities.

The atmosphere is fresh with cute signs and sayings around the store. There was a smile on every face, even a few of the staff who I could tell were still learning, as my tour was during a dry run to help them with procedures and practices. They do have special menu items if you have some food allergies. Their aim is to please, so if you don’t see something, please ask.

Z’mariks is located on Highway 122 in front of the Hampton Inn and next to Caribou Coffee and is the first Z’mariks to have an outdoor dining area. The outside of the store is very neat and clean — a hallmark of Gary Kinseth and his properties. I feel that this will be a good fit for Mason City with some of its Greek Heritage in place already. With lines out the door, it’s becoming a VERY popular noon-time spot because of their efficient service. I will wait a bit until the crowds die down to go back, but it is on our short list of places to visit very soon!


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North Iowa, Video

Random Access – Show #3 – Let’s Grab A Cup!

Imagine a simpler time, 1921, let’s say — but with some of the technology and expectations of today. You stroll into an old-time coffee shop and order a cup of Joe straight up black. Well, you COULD do that, but you could also order one of MANY varieties of coffees, lattes, and mocha beverages. Team that up with smoothies and silky hot chocolate and you have yourself one heck of a coffee shop.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!  Yes, sweet treats and even biscuits and gravy on Saturday mornings.

What am I talking about, you ask??  Well, it’s called Block 10 At 1921 City Hall in downtown Sheffield, Iowa. Yes, it’s the old Sheffield City Hall that’s been converted into a coffee shop AND a rentable hall in which they are having weddings, banquets and other events. It’s a piece of history and I’m glad Holly Coffee and her husband have invested in this small North Iowa Community that I called home in the 70’s during the summer months at my grandparents’ home.

A few weeks ago I decided to give Holly and UN-announced visit with my video camera, yes, she wasn’t prepared, but sometimes that makes for the best video. After some mild arm twisting, she said, “Let’s do it!”  Now, I’ve known Holly and her family for 30+ years and I’m very happy to see her in this location with her daughter fixing up treats for the locals and travelers who are on their way to work. It’s worth the stop and the scones are WONDERFUL.  Just tell them Pat Palmer sent you by and watch Holly smile!

Their hours are from 7am – 10:30am Monday through Saturday, but I have a hunch of you are there a bit before 7 am, you will be taken care of. You won’t be disappointed.

Check them out on Facebook —

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North Iowa, Social Media, Video

Random Access – Show #2 – What Am I Bid??

So, MANY years ago — probably around 1989 or so, my Dad said, “Hey, let’s go see Leroy Van Dyke in Fort Dodge — he’s the world’s most famous auctioneer!”  I said, “Sure!” Leroy ran through his normal set of songs, then concluded with “The Auctioneer.” Now, my Dad being a huge fan, tried to sing the song all the way home — epic fail.  Since then, I learned the song and sing it now and then at karaoke whenever the chance presents itself, now more than for any other reason as a tribute to my Dad. I also have a general fascination with auctioneers because all I did was memorize a song, these folks have to handle all sorts of situations from bid calling, clerking, accounting, logistics and even social media.

I’ve heard of The Worldwide College Of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa for a long time, as it’s been around for about 80 years. Paul Behr is the president and along with his partner Vicky Ginder run the training program that has turned out some of the best auctioneers in the country. My friend Sara Broers of Social Connections and my partner in Home Grown Social Media handles their social media training and she told me to stop by!

Students ranged from the young to the young at heart and also featured former Denver Broncos’ Running Back Reggie Rivers who is there to hone his skills in the area of benefit and collectible auctions. I also was prepared and picked up his autograph as well.

I plan on going back this Friday evening for the Student Auction and see how Blake and Reggie have progressed over the rest of the week!


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