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Local tattoo artists get their own Autonomy

As a tattoo artist, Brian Grovermakes a creative vision a reality.

Now he and fellow artist Travis Beckjordenhave taken their ideas about how to best serve their clientele and created Autonomy Tattoo & Body Piercing.

"We wanted an environment that is indicative of the nature of our work," Grover says while standing in his busy shop. "We wanted the control to create a different feel and atmosphere for our clientele."

They left Infinity Tattoo, the Rochester shop where they had worked, and developed Autonomy at 526 N. Broadway. After about a month of remodeling, Grover and Beckjorden opened the doors of their new place last week with a team of four on staff.

Don't expect a catalog of standard options. As a custom tattoo shop, each individual inkwork is created by an artist for the customer.

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In the four years Grover has worked in Rochester and the six years that Beckjorden has, they have developed a client base that forms the bulk of their customers.

However, the high-profile shop also welcomes walk-in clients.

Beside the individualized skin art, Autonomy also offers a full range of piercing services handled by Tom Malles.

Grover's vision for Autonomy extends beyond servicing clients.

"We want to start to do a lot of events tying into local charities. We want to be able to use the business as jump-off for art shows," he says. "We like to help support small business however we can."

As an employee, Grover did not have the control to try things like that.

Now he and Beckjorden have Autonomy.

Fowl business

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Joannand Merlin Burtare taking wing again with a rural Utica business they landed back in 2007.

And that means about 14 to 16 jobs.

The Burts sold Burts Hilltop Poultry, a USDA certified chicken and turkey processing center. The buyer re-named it Hilltop Poultryand ran it until it closed in November.

Now the Burts are stepping back in to re-open the plant under the name of KB Poultry Processing. They hope to re-open in early to mid-April.

Large and small farmers bring the turkeys and chickens they have raised to the facility for slaughter and processing. Since it is a federally inspected site, the meat can be shipped anywhere in in the U.S. or sold at local farmers markets.

When the Burts ran it previously, they could process approximately 1,500 birds a day.

As a one of the few federally inspected processing facilities in the region, the Burts say the need for it is there.

And the local need for the 14 to 16 jobs the re-opening will create is also there in an area trying to recover from the loss of North Star Foods.

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It will be a family operation with daughter Kristie Burtmanaging KB Poultry with the help of brothers Kermit and Kevin Burt.

The family also own and operate Burts Meats and Poultryin Eyota.

Watch the Post-Bulletin for more KB Poultry soon.

Biz buzz

• Munching coming back to a Rochester BP station?

One of the BP Pump 'N Munchgas stations that closed last year sold for $495,000 on Feb. 2. MJ Co. LLCof Mankato bought the station at 2110 37th St. N.W. from Jay K. Clarkof Rochester.

No word yet from MJ, but the buzz is that plans for an eatery are cooking for the former C-store.

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