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Midwest of Cannon Falls
Midwest of Cannon Falls was established in 1952 by Ken Althoff. Ken was a Lutheran Pastor, who was forced to give up his ministry when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). He started a small business from his basement, importing brass crosses and holiday products from Germany to sell from his basement gift store and to local churches. The importing side of the business was established separately from the gift store, as Midwest Importers.

Throughout the first decade, the wholesale side of the business continued to grow and it became obvious that managing the wholesale and retail sides together was too much. Ken closed his store in 1964 to focus on the wholesale business. The business was incorporated in 1972 and Ken hired his daughter, Kathy Brekken, in 1973. She went on to become President and CEO in 1985. Ken's son, Bill Althoff, also joined the business. Ken stayed with the business until his retirement, in 1999.

There were a few significant company changes in the 1990s. The 'Importers' part of the company name was dropped in 1994, making the company 'Midwest of Cannon Falls'. In March of 1997, a personalized products division was established, called 'Perjinkities', and later that year, Bain Capital made an equity investment in the company. In 1999, Midwest acquired American Specialty Confections Inc., a wholesale distributor of food and candy, usually in gift packaging.

Under the direction of Bain Capital, the company was restructured; employees and other costs were cut, leading to an April 2001 acquisition by Blyth Inc., one of the world's largest manufacturers of candles and home fragrance products. This acquisition provided much-needed financial stability for Midwest and was a key part of Blyth's plans to expand into non-fragrance areas. As part of the acquisition, the confectionary business was divested.

In 2009, Blyth merged Midwest with CBK Styles, Inc., a wholesaler of home and garden decor, gifts and accessories, to form Midwest-CBK. Midwest-CBK had 3 divisions; Seasons of Cannon Falls, Colonial Candle and CBK Styles. As part of this merge, the operations in Cannon Falls were moved to Tennessee.

In 2011, candle and home fragrance company, MVP Group International, Inc. acquired Midwest-CBK from Blyth.

In 2012, MVP Group International, Inc. sold Midwest-CBK to Ganz, a giftware company famous for brands including Webkinz pets(R) and Webkinz World(TM).

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