After 32 years of teaching elementary students, Margit Fritz found herself in a new profession; the owner of the new retail business Floral & Finds in downtown Clear Lake. Joining forces with a local friend, Sharon Voss, who had tremendous experience in florals, they formed a partnership and opened their doors in the Spring of 2016.
Margit went through the normal channels of beginning a business from formalizing the plan to having their brand created. Purchasing an old building, the next step of the partnership began and renovations began. Margit had been collecting antiques and collectibles for years and her collection of choice-items pleasantly fit right into the decor they were planning. Taking old tin roofing from one part of the building and adding into another part was just an example of the changes they made. Another was taking an old church window and woodwork and implanting in one of the walls within the store. Pictures are shown here of some of the renovations that turned Florals & Finds into what it is today; a year later and very successful.
Florals & Finds adds to the ambiance of downtown Clear Lake when most little towns are struggling to keep going and new businesses are looking to build in the higher traffic areas. Stores like this give new life to a struggling economy and help to turn it into a more flourishing community. Both spouses are also involved in their own right in the community. Margit’s husband Duke is the owner of Fritz Chevrolet who just celebrated their 90th birthday this past year.
Florals & Finds is located on Highway 15 that runs through Clear Lake in Deuel County. A backroad business in the east central part of South Dakota, supported by the local and area residents, invites others to take a side trip and stop in see what items one cannot live without.
Deuel Community Kitchen (Toronto, SD) - A Kitchen Incubator Story
Incubators can help a small community and food producers because they are designed to grow business!
Incubators make it financially possible for a start-up food manufacturer to take advantage of available professional kitchen space while they grow their business. This commercial kitchen facility is available to producers and packagers of specialty and gourmet food, caterers, and individual chefs that want to get their special recipe off and running. Those individuals who want to take a special recipe to market or create a food or natural resource business will want to consider the use of this kitchen. A kitchen is for start-ups and existing food processors.
Most start-up food enterprises begin in a home kitchen. But the home kitchen becomes a liability because of special licensing that is required and laws that prevent the home kitchen recipe when it goes to the marketplace. Legally then the start-up food enterprise must manufacture their product from a professional kitchen. This is where a kitchen incubator comes in. Chefs (user of a kitchen) will be able to offer long or short-term leases at reasonable rates on a flexible time-share basis. Food entrepreneurs become ‘legal’ by working in this certified kitchen space because it, in turn, can be inspected more easily.
Available to use are professional standard ovens, refrigerators, mixers, food processors, storage space, worktables, pots and pans, utensils and locked storage space. This professional space will have a list of requirements in using the space, but also guidelines that will need to be followed when using the kitchen. The entrepreneurs enter into an agreement with the facility, with each other and in this case with the non-profit Deuel Area Development (DADi) that began the incubator. Using a kitchen incubator is a relatively new concept and definitely in a rural setting.
The DCK began with a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant. With the help of DADi and assistance of Dakota Rural Action and Deubrook School District the Deuel Community Kitchen came to fruition.
Once a product is ready for marketing, the producer can help with a business plan and making connections with the Small Business Development Centers. It is the hope of USDA Rural Development that other small communities with available licensed kitchens can use DCK as a model. Other items to consider when starting a kitchen: location to 'chefs', insurance, Serv-Safe licensing, labeling, kitchen inspections and licensing, Department of Health regulations, kitchen's availability, potential users, marketing and determination, community awareness, and marketing.
Making it a family affair, a young husband and wife team, newly graduated in 2015, Bjorn and Devon Nelson joined Bjorn's father John Nelson, in his practice in Spearfish, SD which he began after graduating from Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN in 1976.
Bjorn, graduating from Belle Fourche, SD then later Rocky Mountain College, followed in his father’s footsteps and also attended NWHSU, then graduated in 2014. Devon reigning from Bismarck, ND and a standout in their high school’s athletic program, graduated from North Dakota State University majoring in Exercise Science. All three bring their own flavor of expertise into the mix. Rounding out the business is the staff of Nelson Chiropractic. One of those staff members, and CNA, is Bjorn’s mother, Deb Carr, who comes from a long line of chiropractors on her side of the family. Once a long time music teacher in the Belle Fourche School District, she joined her own chiropractic family in Huron, SD before she relocated to Spearfish to work with this growing business.
Nelson Chiropractic has been providing chiropractic care and wellness treatments for 40 years. The Nelson’s promote health, therapeutic rehabilitation, acupuncture, cupping, physical therapy, wellness, and exercise through natural treatment and invite you to give them a call and they will get you on the path to wellness. All of them share Travel Backroads’ vision of a deep commitment to local business.
High Plains Health Centre, Suite 1, 1930 North Ave
Spearfish, SD 57783