By Sheila McCoy, Staff Writer
Sara Weber of Sauk Centre is a lady who wears many hats. Besides being a mom, a wife and a friend, she is also a business owner.
But despite all her accomplishments, giving back to the community has always been important to her. Sometimes it may be something as simple as lending a helping hand and offering a smile to a friend or a stranger.
To her, giving back is an expression of the endless gratitude she has to those who helped when she was going through a difficult time in her life.
“I want to be an inspiration to other women who are going through a hard time. Life changes, and things can improve,” she said.
Difficulties Weber faced several years ago were going through a divorce, moving and the challenges that came with being a single mom.
But with God, encouraging and supporting people in her life and the will to turn her life around, Weber did just that.
“I decided to turn my life around and start making healthy decisions,” she said.
She quit swearing, quit smoking and spent more time with her children.
Weber attributes the change in her to God.
“Before I met God, it was all about me. I needed forgiveness, and he gave it. I also needed to forgive myself,” she said.
Today, she is happily married to her husband, Jeremy, whom she describes as being a “little bit of a Jack of all trades.”
Together, they’ve embarked on adventures that have enriched their lives in many ways.
In March 2016, the Webers purchased the Hart Mall building in Long Prairie. It wasn’t exactly planned at the moment, but when the opportunity presented itself, well, there was no stopping it, she said.
Weber had even previously worked in the Hart Mall building back in the day at the KEYL radio station.
One day, the couple stopped by the radio station. Weber wanted to pick up the dinner tickets she had purchased for a friend at one of its radio auctions.
Even though Weber was familiar with the layout of the building, her husband wasn’t. Curious, he followed her to see what it was all about.
After all, back in the day when the Hart Mall was a department store, it was a big deal and a popular place that people visited, Weber said.
One of the KEYL employees mentioned to Jeremy that the building was for sale. In fact, it had been on the market for the last 10 years, and it was evident it was in a rough condition.
“Jeremy just had a big smile on his face and said, ‘Really?’ I knew what that really meant,” Weber said and laughed.
Fully aware of Jeremy’s entrepreneurial mindset, Weber said it was a look she knew very well.
At the same time as Jeremy started to renovate the Hart Mall, Weber opened a second location for her business, ”Taste of Heaven” — a store with various decor and other items. The other store is located in Sauk Centre.
The store also sells products that their other company, “Cloud Screen Printing” makes. Several racks display attire that show off the pride of different local schools’ sports teams.
Renovating the Hart Mall was a process in itself that continues today.
The nine apartments on the second floor were once vacant. But after receiving Jeremy’s magic touch, they no longer are, Weber said.
The Hart Mall also welcomed a new business, “Adamek Massage.”
Since the renovation, the Webers have opened up part of the mall for people who want to meet or have a small group gathering.
It has also hosted a number of events, such as Santa Claus, the Harvest Festival, various craft fairs and more.
Looking back at their adventure with purchasing Hart Mall, Weber said the best part of it has been to overcome all of the challenges.
“It hasn’t been easy, and it has really given you a lot of opportunities to practice patience,” she said.
When she is not working, Weber enjoys spending time with Jeremy and their children, Royal, 17, Rylan, 12, Rayden, 10 and Galaydrielle, 8.
The family stays quite active in Zion Lutheran Church in Sauk Centre, where Weber taught Sunday School for many years.
She was the president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau and is a member of the PTA in Sauk Centre. She’s also the president of the Central Minnesota Arts Council in Sauk Centre.
Weber was chosen as “Woman of the Month” for overcoming many challenges, being a successful business woman and for activity in giving back to the communities she lives and works in.
It is a very humbling recognition, Weber said.
“When I found out, I thought there are so many other women who deserve this more than I do,” she said.