The wind is brisk and temperatures are chilly, but that’s not stopping L & M Fleet Supply owners Terry Matteson and Don Ley. Tuesday morning, Matteson and Ley invited several people they feel are responsible for helping bring their business to Detroit Lakes to a groundbreaking ceremony. Representatives from the city of Detroit Lakes, the Detroit Lakes Development Authority, Jack Chivers Realty and Olaf Anderson and Sons were present to welcome the new business to town. Matteson said if all goes according to plan, the newest 63,000-square-foot L & M Fleet Supply will open in early May. Olaf Anderson and Sons have already begun work on the building project. “We plan to have shelving up in March, stocking inventory in April and be open on May 4, hopefully,” Matteson said. He said that the original L & M Fleet stores were opened on the Iron Range and eventually expanded to the Bemidji area. Detroit Lakes seemed like the next logical spot to open a store because of farming and tourism in the area. “It’s really fitting for this area. The product mix is good for this area,” he said. “And it’s easy to distribute goods to this area from our main office in Grand Rapids.” And although Matteson and Ley had looked at different sites around Detroit Lakes, Matteson said he is happy with the home they have found on Highway 59 South. “The entrance and exits were the hardest part,” he said. “With the size of the location and this close to town, we should be accessible.” Other L & M Fleet Supply stores are located in Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, Cloquet, Bemidji and Park Rapids. The main office and distribution center reside in Grand Rapids. Matteson’s son, Del, will be moving from Grand Rapids to manage the new store in Detroit Lakes. The Detroit Lakes L & M Fleet will carry a lot of the same products as the existing stores. Matteson said that the Detroit Lakes store will be stocked with 70,000 items. It will also have a service center for tires, batteries, etc., and a small engine repair center. A few of the many departments L & M Fleet will offer are hardware, plumbing, electric, clothing and footwear, toys, tools and housewares. “We’ll have a lot of the same items but some new also,” he said. L & M Fleet Supply’s slogan says quality merchandise at a discount price. Matteson said that the business offers many name brand items such as Rocky boots, DeWalt tools and Rawlings sporting goods at discount prices. L & M Fleet also is a stockholder with True Value, Sports Inc. and Mid-States Distributing Company. L & M will sell hunting and fishing licenses, chickens and ducks. Matteson said customers will be able to order pheasants and geese also. Buyers for L & M Fleet have already begun ordering merchandise for the Detroit Lakes store. Matteson said that L & M orders from 1,500 different factories. The new business in Detroit Lakes will employ 45 to 50 people. Matteson said that employees will be trained either at the Park Rapids or Grand Rapids stores before opening the Detroit Lakes store in May. “We’re looking forward to Detroit Lakes. It’s really going to be a natural for us,” Matteson said. “We’ll fit into the city. We try to participate as a good citizen to the community. We always try to help the community we are in.” Gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony were: Del Matteson, co-owner and store manager of Detroit Lakes store; Jack Chivers, of Chivers Realty; Shawn Matteson, co-owner; Terry Matteson, co-owner; Larry Remmen, director of community development; Don Ley, co-owner; Dixie Johnson, Detroit Lakes Development Authority; Troy Mallow, Olaf Anderson and Sons; Doc Wething, Detroit Lakes/Becker County Airport Commission, and Jeff Furstenau, Olaf Anderson and Sons.