Boutique shopping, barbecue specialties found in trip to Tea

June 25, 2018

This paid piece is sponsored by the Lincoln County Economic Development Association.

From unique shopping to a specialty barbecue restaurant, there are plenty of reasons to take a trip to Tea this summer.

Booming boutique

After starting in her Tea basement in 2013, Laurie Karlson recently moved Laurie Belle’s boutique into a new building in Tea.

The new store allows her to carry more merchandise in all sizes, including kids’ clothing. She’s also building a warehouse nearby that will open next year.

“That will allow us to expand our inventory for online customers, and we’ll have a little storefront there to do some fun warehouse sales and different things like that there.”

People come to Tea from several states to shop at the boutique, looking for an in-person version of their online experience. Laurie Belle’s has more than 400,000 followers on Facebook.

“The location of Tea has just been perfect for what we’re trying to do,” she said. “We’re so close to Sioux Falls and so close to the interstate it’s super quick to get here.”

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Treasure hunt in Tea

Continue your shopping at Tea Heritage Square, where merchandise is always changing, and you never know what you’ll uncover.

Co-owner Tammy Reynolds opened the business two years ago and moved into her current location last year.

“I like it,” she said. “It’s nice here. The community is fun, and it’s growing.”

Items include apparel for all ages, jewelry, home decor and the occasional antique.

“People say they come in here a lot and everything’s moved,” Reynolds said. “In certain times, I get in designing moods, and I really enjoy designing.”

Because her store runs on donations, she’s also willing to negotiate with buyers.

“They go away happy that way,” she said. “And I’m happy too.”

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Smoked specialties

Squealers Smoke Shack started as a food truck and opened in Tea in 2016.

“Everything we do is 100 percent smoked,” co-owner Dustin Kuipers said. “All our sides are homemade. We made them from scratch and still do.”

The menu includes ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, wings, a lot of sides and a Saturday night prime rib special.

“We messed around it with so long, our own recipes, and we got it to where everybody liked it, and we just kind of ran with it,” Kuipers said.

There also are daily specials, a full bar, catering and space for private events.

“It’s going well, so we’re hoping to just keep growing,” he said. “We have a lot of regulars, and the community is definitely doing their part and helping us out and supporting us.”

Hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Boutique shopping, barbecue specialties found in trip to Tea

From unique shopping to a specialty barbecue restaurant, there are plenty of reasons to take a trip to Tea this summer.

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