She never dreamed they could move back home but fate had other ideas

by Rick Schara, Live Wide Open Coordinator

I met Blaire and Brandon Larson at the Dakota Coffee Company in Wahpeton the other day, but maybe we should have gathered in the historic Wilkin restaurant in neighboring Breckenridge.

That destination restaurant has a history with the Larsons. As Blaire put it, the couple met while working at the Wilkin and “as far as we know, we are the only love story out of the Wilkin.”

Brandon and Blaire Larson

Brandon and Blaire Larson

Of course there’s more to this little love story.

Brandon grew up in Fergus Falls where his first job was also in an iconic local restaurant, Dairyland. After school, he went on an adventure working the Colorado ski resorts in the winter and take folks on trout fishing expeditions in the summer. He was pretty good teaching kids about fishing! But then missing home, Brandon traveled back and ended up working at the Wilkin where he met his future wife.

After graduating from Breckenridge High School, Blaire took up a double major in accounting and English at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. She and Brandon date through college and then when Blaire approached graduation, change was in the air.

She graduated and landed her first internship job with Cargill in Paris - not that Paris, the one in llinois - and one could assume this long-time relationship was at a crossroads.

So Brandon did the right thing. He popped the question, they were engaged and later married.

That puts a smile on this love story. But wait...there’s more!

Over the next five years, the Larsons followed Blaire’s work with Cargill from Illinois to a little town in Nebraska called Blair. Yes, Blaire moved to Blair!  Meanwhile Brandon worked at Hy-Vee and then when they bought their home in Blair, Brandon easily transferred his skills to work at a mom-and-pop restaurant.

But something was missing in Nebraska.

“I remember over time, we would come back home and every time I would wish it would be permanent,” Blaire said.

And even though Cargill has a presence in Wahpeton, Blaire figured the odds of a finance job opening up with Cargill in her hometown backyard was slim to none.  She admits the small town life in Blair just never felt like home.

Blair laughs that she even missed driving back home “even in bad weather.” Now that’s missing home!

But wishes sometimes come true, and in 2017 - May to be exact - surprise! surprise! That elusive Cargill job back home opened up and Blaire happily transferred.

Welcome Blaire and goodbye Blair!!

It was a happy reunion. Blaire’s father is a Breckenridge teacher and “he told the whole town” we were moving back, Blaire laughs. Brandon said they love nature, the parks, bike riding, trails, camping and the nearby lakes. And they love their “creaky old house,” along with three cats and two dogs, all but one from a local shelter.

This past spring Blaire earned kudos as the local newspaper named her one of the “under 40” leaders in the community.

In other words, watch for great things from Blaire and Brandon because this love story is back where it started!