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Cell phone store hopes for good reception in Rosemount

Wireless Zone owners Matt Funk, left, and Jon Medin, right, are pictured with manager Scott Tande. The store opened March 22 in Rosemount.

Matt Funk and Jon Medin know cell phones. They met in college while they were working for a cell phone retailer, and 2 1/2 years ago they went into business for themselves. In the time since they've built a network of their own Wireless Zone stores. The latest opened March 22 in Rosemount.

Wireless Zone stores are meant to be one-stop shops for anyone looking for phones or service on the Verizon network. Verizon typically opens its own stores in bigger cities. Stores like Wireless Zone fill in the gaps elsewhere.

Wireless Zone offers cell phones and accessories as well as business-to-business services.

Medin and Funk and third partner Kyle Palmer were the second ones to open a Wireless Zone store in Minnesota and they have more of the stores than anyone else in the state. They started in Mendota Heights and expanded to Hastings and Menomonie, Wisc., before coming to Rosemount.

It's fast growth, but Medin and Funk seem happy with it. They started out with a plan for two stores. Then they were offered the Menomonie location and Rosemount fell into place.

They like the company, which is big on the East Coast and growing in the Midwest. They say they're able to offer more personal service than corporate-owned stores.

"It's all about the customer. We'll do anything," Medin said.

Both Medin and Funk were raised in entrepreneurial families. Funk's father was a beer distributor and Medin's father was a real estate developer.

"I was always told by my father that owning your own business is the way to go," Funk said. "I see why."

They like being their own bosses, they said, and setting their own schedules.

They also like the business they're in. They enjoy keeping up with the rapidly changing technology. Part of that means attending trade shows like the CTIA convention held last week in Las Vegas. That show features the latest and greatest in cell phone technology. Medin and Funk got sneak peeks at fancy new phones on the horizon and on fourth-generation wireless service they say will rival at-home broadband Internet speeds.

"A lot of people expect, how cell phones are replacing land lines, they expect the same thing to happen with Internet," Medin said.

Funk and Medin said business has been good since they opened. Curious customers have come to check out the store, which is located down the row from Cub Foods. They plan to hold a grand opening event in early May.