New business owners love Sturgis | Local News
STURGIS – Amy Groves isn’t a native of Sturgis, but she still loves the city.
The Las Vegas businesswoman and husband Mike, who run a successful real estate business, came to the Northern Hills community for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally but stayed because of the people.
“The people here in Sturgis are so much friendlier. If you walk down the street, you can make eye contact with someone and they won’t look away. They will actually say ‘good morning’, ”said Groves.
Coming to Sturgis is a chance to relax instead of stressing out about life, she said.
The Groves bought The Buckle building on Main Street Sturgis and are working on remodeling it.
Groves said it was actually two buildings built in the front and back.
They plan to turn the front section facing Main Street into a dessert empire.
“It will all be dessert. We’ll have ice cream, cakes, cookies, cakes and all sorts of things. And we’ll bake bread every day, ”she said.
Emma’s Ice Cream Emporium serves a daily continental breakfast. Since they’ll be open year round in winter, they hope to offer warm desserts to draw locals downtown, Groves said.
The Emma reference in the name of the house is actually Groves’ English Bulldog.
“She has naming rights,” joked Groves.
At the back of the building, the Groves are building an automated tap house. The guests check in and receive a card that records the amount of brew purchased in front of each tap.
“You can pour as much or as little as you like of any of the 26 different beers,” she said. “You can try a little bit of everything or get involved in one of them. It is calculated in ounces. “
The Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Tap House will have a military theme in honor of Groves’ husband Mike, a retired sergeant major.
“The building itself looks like a bombed-out Italian building. We left that on purpose to make it look very rustic. This will play against a shiny stainless steel pole system, ”she said. “It will just be a nice place to stay. It doesn’t get loud with music or a band. It’s just going to be a cool place to hang out. “
The beers on tap will be local rather than regional, Groves said.
“We don’t choose one of the big brands. We will be holding events with each of the different beer makers to talk about their craft beer, ”she said. “We’re still going through the final list, but we’re looking at beers from five or six states around South Dakota.”
In the basement of the building, the Groves create an event space for up to 40 people.
“We can party and eat,” she said. “Whoever needs a small, private meeting room, we can help.”
Groves hopes both stores will open before this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
“We’re two months behind now and if we were open by July 30th I’d thank the stars above,” she said.
Groves and her husband were long-time rally visitors and were married in 2005 by former Mayor Cliff Linn at Lazelle St. in Sturgis.
“We are rally people,” said Groves. “But when we got married, we decided that we would come back every year for our wedding anniversary. We’ve only missed two years since ’05, “she said.
Groves realized a year while they were staying at an expensive Deadwood hotel during rally week that she and her husband could pay a week’s mortgage at the Deadwood Hotel.
The Groves own a Remax Real Estate franchise in Las Vegas, NV.
“My whole life consists of real estate. So I calculated what we pay for. We could have taken out a mortgage on a house in Sturgis all along, ”she said.
The couple found and bought a house for sale on Dudley Street, north of the Iron Horse Saloon. They made improvements and sold it last year after having had it for four years.
They then bought another house on Dudley.
“Since then we’ve turned nine houses and closed on 12th Street on Tuesday. We just bought one on 3rd Street a few months ago that we started with, ”she said.
Then, last year, Groves noticed that the Buckle building was up for sale. They considered opening a store, but called Mayor Mark Carstensen to find out which stores the community could support. He said the city recently conducted a poll on the issue and an ice cream parlor was on the list.
“A few things have been listed. So we just decided to go to an ice cream parlor. We thought we had enough skill and knowledge to do it. When I was 15 I worked in an ice cream parlor. It can’t be difficult to remember 40 years ago, ”she says with a laugh.
The building will be amazing when it’s finished, said Groves.
But the Buckle building isn’t the only one the Groves bought. They’re closing the old Massa Berry clinic this month.
Groves said she invited her father Ed Cox to come into town and see The Buckle building, and he learned that the Massa Berry building was for sale. He envisioned the building being used as office space for small businesses in the city.
“I told him, ‘Dad, I’m busy. I’ve got my hands full, ”she said.
She gave in and plans to open a business center in the near future. The former medicine house has offices of various sizes that are rented out. There will be different service levels. Some may just want to rent a room while others want a common receptionist who can answer phones for their business. There will also be copiers and mailing services.
“You look like you are a bigger company than you are, but at the end of the day you still have a 10×10 office,” she said.
The concept for a business center arose from the work in Las Vegas.
“The very first office I ever used for brokerage was a boardroom office,” she said.
Las Vegas has thousands of such business centers, Groves said.
Since then, Groves and her father have founded Sturgis Development LLC in hopes of revitalizing downtown Sturgis.
“Our whole goal was to have a functioning Main Street. So when I come to Sturgis, it’s a lot of fun, ”she said. “The rally hurt Main Street. We want to make Main Street what it was again – a fully functional Main Street all year round. We could just pull it off. “
To read all of today’s stories, click here or call 642-2761 to subscribe to our e-edition or home delivery.