Deuel County Grows into the Future
Category: Success Stories
Everyone wants large companies to come to their area for jobs and opportunities, but those opportunities may already exist in our communities. The Deuel Community Kitchen is the first partnership of its kind in South Dakota and gives rural South Dakotans a starting place for entrepreneurship. By creating and supporting this kitchen incubator, Deuel Area Development, Inc. (DADI) is helping to connect rural entrepreneurs with new market opportunities, contributing significantly to community economic development. The kitchen incubator gives local growers an opportunity to try out their favorite recipe and the potential to grow from a one-person operation to a business with several employees. With people’s concerns about healthy and safe food, the demand is growing for home-grown, locally produced food, adding to the market opportunity for local growers. Besides growing and processing food, the “Chefs” are creating their own business complete with business plans, marketing strategies, and future goals.
Two active “Chefs” in the kitchen Incubator have been Kristianna Gehant-Siddens of Prairie Coteau Farms near Astoria with her garlic and pesto and Kim James of Toronto with her Jalapeño Jelly (sold also at The Pheasant). Two more have been begun recently. They filled out a business plan application and were accepted.
New producer Jenilee Schleusner of Brookings just recently started her business with “fresh” Salsa. She grew up cooking with her grandmother and is very comfortable in the kitchen. Providing her salsa for others got her to thinking that she needed to produce it and sell it. She also got great compliments and others recommended she go into business. She drives to the Deuel Community Kitchen often because it’s available and it’s affordable for an entrepreneur starting out. She now is selling her fresh “Day of the Dead” Salsa in Bozied’s Convenience Store in Brookings. Bozied’s also features other local products from entrepreneurs. Jenilee has also received orders to ship out of state. Having ‘fresh’ salsa also creates unique problems as its shelf-life is limited and is sold, about as fast as she can make it.
Just recently another couple Wade and Samantha Solem of Brandt started using the kitchen as a catering business “Humble Pig Smokery” which hopes to cater Christmas parties and other celebrations with using the kitchen.
Joan Sacrison, Executive Director of DADI said, " People are not familiar with kitchen incubators so being the first incubator in the state is exciting, but now comes the need for education to help others become entrepreneurs and realize a dream come true.
There are so many possibilities in the use of an incubator; to take a recipe from paper to a finished project and that is what we are hoping to convey to individuals. We want to see other rural communities use our Deuel Community Kitchen as a model, as well as our ‘chefs’ get their businesses up and running.” To find out ways to purchase their products, contact Deuel Area Development, Inc. at firstname.lastname@example.org.