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Hudson natives purchase Erbert and Gerbert's

From the left, the new owners of Erbert and Gerbert's are Rick Swanson, John Nickleby and Chris Swanson, all Hudson High School graduates, and Libby Swanson, Chris' wife, who is a River Falls High School graduate. Not pictured, Kathe Nickleby and Kris Swanson. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl

A trio of businessmen, all Hudson High School graduates, purchased the Hudson location of Erbert and Gerbert's as of Sept. 1.

"We were looking for something to do together," said Chris Swanson, HHS '83. "Most of all we wanted to do business together and offer great service." Swanson, his brother Rick, a HHS '77 grad, and John Nickleby, a HHS '76 grad, have been friends for as long as any of them can remember. Each of them played on the golf team at Hudson High School.

Rick went on to become a teaching golf pro in Hudson and River Falls, after graduating from UW-River Falls with a degree in business. Nickleby went into the security business and Chris is a financial planner for Waddell and Reed in Hudson.

Their first endeavor was to purchase the Hudson location of Dunn Bros. Coffee in May of 2007. It shares a common doorway and floor space in the same building as Erbert and Gerbert's at 2521 Hanley Road. When the sub sandwich franchise became available it was a perfect match for the trio.

Erbert and Gerbert's was founded in Eau Claire 20 years ago. Today, nearly 50 shops dot the upper Midwest states and Colorado.

"We feel more a part of the community because we are from here," said Libby Swanson, Chris' wife and manager of Dunn Bros. "That connection is important and it helps make the business more viable."

Community, community, community and service, service, service are the themes stressed by the Swansons.

"We saw an opportunity and with our local connection, we thought we could make Erbert and Gerbert's very competitive," said Rick. "It is a good product. Look for us to do sampling in the business community." In addition to sub sandwiches made to order, the menu offers soup, chili and dessert items.

"We do a lot of catering and offer 'Delivery on the Double' within a 15-minute drive time from the shop," said Rick.

In the future, they are going to be pairing up some of the coffee offerings from Dunn Bros. with the some of the sandwiches from Erbert and Gerbert's.

"We are really trying to reach out to the community of Hudson because we are from Hudson," said Rick.

"Our staff is friendly, happy and welcoming," said Libby. "You will feel good about stopping in."

Erbert and Gerbert's is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. For more information or to place an order, call (715) 531-1000 or go to

"Tell everyone Rick wants to see you, come in and say hi, and he gives free golf tips in the store," said Rick Swanson.

Kathe Nickleby is a principal in Mahtomedi and Kris (Rick's wife) Swanson is an elementary school music teacher.