Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Oct. 22, 2001

Mahlstedt purchases Ramstad's Photography

By Carolyn Holje

Reprinted with permission from the Enterprise Dispatch.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," Vivian Mahlstedt said. She recently purchased Ramstad's Photography in Cokato from Dave and Norma Ramstad. "People are so happy for me, and for Dave and Norma Ramstad," Mahlstedt said. "It has been fun."

Mahlstedt and her daughter Kristy will be working together in the studio. Kristy graduated from Bethel College, St. Paul a year ago. They will photograph weddings, families, seniors, pre-schoolers, do passport photos and any other photo work customers need. "We are very excited about it," Vivian said.

Mahlstedt has been interested in photography for a long time. She was a charter member of the Viewfinders Camera Club. "It started around 1983," she said. "Kristy had her senior photos and Howard Lake Royalty pictures taken at Ramstads, and she had such a good time," Mahlstedt said. Kristy's experience encouraged Mahlstedt to pursue her dream.

"I didn't know how to break into the photography business, and then a friend of mine said Ramstad's were selling the business in Cokato," Mahlstedt said.

They worked on arrangements; Mahlstedt purchased the equipment and is leasing the building. "And Dave is helping me get started," she said.

Mahlstedt is the secretary for the superintendent at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted schools, and she will be working in the photography business part-time until mid October when someone to replace her at the school takes the position.

"My goal is to help personalities show through in my photography," Mahlstedt said. "I would like it to be a fun experience for people when they are photographed. I want it to be a sweet memory for them."

Mahlstedt (Vivian Bergren) is a Cokato native having grown up on a farm north of Cokato. She is a Cokato High School graduate and was transplanted to Howard Lake when she got married.

She and her husband Larry have three children, Kristy who is working in the business, Evan who is attending Dunwoody Institute, and Brianne who is a freshman at HL-W-W.

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