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After her basement filled with 1,200 bolts of fabric and customers started visiting her home three days a week, Nancy Sasse decided to open a store.

Four Winds Quilting at 2101 Grand Ave., Suite 3, will open Tuesday next to Golden Nails and the Adventure Scuba.

Sasse moved her 1,200 bolts of fabric and added 300 more of the bold patterns and colors she likes. But Four Winds carries no calico.

After starting her sewing career at a 4-H Club in Sidney 25 years ago, Sasse became addicted to quilting.

“I cannot draw a good stick figure. I can’t carry a note. I can’t paint, but once I started working with fabric, that all changed and I found a creative outlet,” she said.

Even though there are at least seven quilting stores in Billings and Laurel, there’s room for another, she said.

“There is so little overlap in what we carry,” Sasse said. “We all get along. It’s a wonderful community of the shop owners.”

The Four Winds name comes from real life.

“It came back to the four things that have influenced my life: family, my friends, my faith and fabric,” she said.

Simply the best

The national “Fancy Food Show” granted its 2012 outstanding specialty foods-and beverages award to The Healthy Pantry of Red Lodge.

The company makes all-natural meal kits sold under the name Cook Simple. The goal is to make healthy eating at home simple, tasty and affordable.

Judges at the awards held in Washington, D.C., bestowed a gold medal on Cook Simple’s Tamale Pie, made with black beans, ground meat and tomatoes with a crispy cornbread topping.

The Montana meal kits are now sold at more than 2,000 stores, including Safeway, Albertsons and Whole Foods.

Chief executive and owner Keith Lauver trimmed his 30 meal kits down to half a dozen, including Punjabi Curry, Asian burgers with stir-fried rice, Tibetan Dal, New Orleans Jambalaya, Cranberry Wild Rice and Cowboy Chili.

The “Fancy Food Show” judges taste test 2,000 entries and narrow them to 30 finalists, so winning a gold in that intense competition was “really flattering,” Lauver said.

“It’s actually about the biggest deal I can think of in the food industry. It’s the highest award,” he said.

Joining the dudes

The working cattle ranch that straddles Montana and Wyoming’s state line has passed two

years of inspections and accreditation by The Dude Ranchers’ Association.

The Padlock Ranch now has been admitted to association’s corral of 100-plus accredited members. The Dude Ranchers’ Association was formed in 1926 to recognize and help preserve dude ranches.

In addition to running cattle, The Padlock, which dates back to 1943, offers ranch, photography and hunting and fishing vacations between the Bighorn Mountains of northern Wyoming and the prairies of Eastern Montana.

New location, choices

Carbone’s Pizzeria should open this week in its new location next to Bottles & Shots at 3925 Grand Ave.

Carbone’s, a popular chain in the Twin Cities, opened its first Montana restaurant at 2240 Grand Ave., in Billings two years ago. The original owners sold the franchise to Wayne Ask, who owns Bottles & Shots. Carbone’s now has a custom rock wall in the bar at its new location and can serve beer, wine and liquor.

Out & about

The 6 Degrees Gourmet restaurant near Sanctuary Spa on 24th Street West has changed its hours and is now opens for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinners and events catering now are by appointment.

The Fieldhouse Café at 2601 Minnesota Ave., has dropped weekday breakfasts and now is open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The Fieldhouse also serves a Saturday brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Scams du jour

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service stands to lose $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the next five years, according to a report by the inspector general overseeing the IRS.

Under this scam, crooks file fake tax returns using your name and identifying information and then collect the refund.

In its Aug. 2 edition, Business Week reported that the IRS sent more than $3.3 million in refunds to one address in Lansing, Mich., that was listed on 2,137 separate tax returns.

The IRS disputes the $21 billion in projected losses, saying it has made changes that help the agency detect identity theft.

Laugh lines

“An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”

— Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

“We learn from experience that we don’t learn from experience.”

— George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Source: The 2,548 Wittiest Things Anybody Ever Said” by Robert Byrne.



Business editor for the Billings Gazette.