The Story of Rhombus
It was the Spring of 2000 as the two 18 year old’s, Matt Winjum and Arron Hendricks, ventured out into the world of entrepreneurism.
Their vision to build a Smoothie stand was in full swing. Starting with an old snowmobile trailer, which was the base of the stand, the construction began.
As the weeks passed, young Matt and Arron realized the project was much bigger than they once thought. However, with the help of friends, daily trips to the local hardware store and what seemed like millions of nails and screws they were almost done.
It was at this point that Arron noticed something peculiar. The stand hadn’t turned out to be the 8 foot cube they had envisioned, but rather had taken on the appearance of a Rhombus and Smoothie Rhombus was born.
The first summer for the team was definitely a learning process. Having fun while traveling to fairs, festivals and luncheons they began to gain the knowledge needed to run their venture.
Life was great! The two were working for themselves and making money…even if it was just a small amount.
However it was time for them to go to college. Arron headed to the University of Minnesota TC and Matt to Arizona State University.
The next summer they reunited and applied what they had learned over the past year. Through the new found knowledge, they were able to triple their previous summers sales and were gaining confidence as young businessmen.
At this time they brought long time friend, Levi Kraft, into the business as a partner. The three would spend twelve hour days in the tiny stand and it became obvious that they needed to expand.
Having spent a lot of time in the Maple Lake area, they found a restaurant for sale in the winter of 2001 and decided it had to be their new location.
Although funding was an issue, the three found a way to put everything together. Proving that if there’s a will, there’s a way.
As soon as school was let out in the Spring of 2002 the three began working long hours to get the new restaurant ready before Memorial Day in order to catch the onset of the busy season. With much hard work, they succeeded and Rhombus House of Pizza was born.
Upon opening, things went well from the start. To keep costs down, the three worked countless hours while employing a small staff.
They soon realized that they had a lot more to learn as none of the three had extensive experience in making pizzas. So the first months were filled with trial and error, but they pressed on.
In addition to the new restaurant in Mentor, the team still took their Smoothie stand to a few fairs and events which were successful because of the name recognition they had built.
By the end of Summer, they had seen improvement and were pleased with their growth. However, since the busy season at the lakes was over by Labor Day, they decided to close shop for the winter and pursue their education by returning to school.
The next Summer proved to be great for Arron, Matt and Levi. They had gotten much better at their craft and were moving forward.
Early that summer, they called the Grand Forks Herald hoping to have an article written on the three. The Herald was interested and sent Ronna Johnson to interview them.
The article made the front page and business skyrocketed. There was no looking back for the three.
Over the winter they had secured a spot in a new strip mall in their hometown of Thief River Falls, MN. With plans to open a larger restaurant, the guys got to work on the construction.
Cafe Rhombus opened in the Fall of 2004 and had a menu of pizza, entrees, sandwiches, burgers and more. It was another success for the team, but not without some lessons to be learned along the way.
In the Spring the team was going to undergo some changes. Levi, who had previously married his High School sweetheart, was leaving the business to start his family.
This left Matt and Arron running Rhombus as a duo once again. That summer, the two took on the challenge of running the two restaurants by alternating restaurants every couple of weeks.
After constant innovations to Cafe Rhombus over the next couple years, they decided it was time for their next location.
In 2006, Matt and Arron stumbled upon a quaint location in Downtown Grand Forks, ND. and decided it was perfect.
The two again did the majority of the remodeling and upon completion, Rhombus Guys was opened for business.
As they had become seasoned veterans in the pizza business, they chose this as the focus for their restaurant in Grand Forks and it’s continued to pay off. Thanks to local residents, Rhombus Guys has been the recipient of the coveted People’s Choice Award for “Best Pizza in Grand Forks” for the past 5 years.
In 2008, Matt and Arron decided to close Cafe Rhombus and focus on their growing restaurant in Grand Forks.
Today Rhombus House of Pizza is celebrating its 10th Season Anniversary in Mentor, MN and the guys are finishing the remodeling of their new location in Downtown Fargo, ND.
So now you know the history of Rhombus Guys up until now…where we go from here? We’re counting on you, our loyal guests to guide us.