The Carrot Seed Kitchen Co. to expand in Brookings

From staff reports

As Kirsten Gjesdal’s store marks its two-year anniversary this month, The Carrot Seed Kitchen Co. is preparing to get bigger.

It has become a popular source of kitchenware and local specialty foods to customers in Brookings, operated out of leased space on Main Avenue.

Merchandise includes utensils, aprons, towels, mixing bowls, cleaning products and specialty foods such as dips and coffee.

“We sell anything you’d have in a kitchen,” Gjesdal said.“Business is going well. We have a lot of support from the community.”

Business has gone so well that she is buying a vacant building next door to The Carrot Seed. She plans to fix up the building and relocate her business there. The new site will give her more room to sell local foods such as cheese, butter, meat, eggs and ice cream, she said. She also will have extra space that can be leased to another business.

Long term, she’d like to add a commercial kitchen for other entrepreneurs to use. Cooking classes also could be held there.

Gjesdal, a 2012 graduate of South Dakota State University, worked in the catering department at the university for two years before going into business for herself. A conversation with Scott Meyer at a local meeting of 1 Million Cups, an entrepreneurial organization, led her to Tim Weelborg, a consultant at the Small Business Development Center’s satellite office in Brookings.

Gjesdal’s preparation and passion for business have been impressive, according to Weelborg, whose office is a branch of a SBDC regional office in Watertown. He assisted Gjesdal with detailed financial projections to get the business started, and he helped her again with the building acquisition and expansion. The SBDC consulting services were free.

“She’s extremely smart and very willing to roll up her sleeves and get into it,” he said.

One of the top-selling items at The Carrot Seed has been coffee from Kool Beans Coffee and Roasterie, which is in the process of opening a coffee shop in downtown Brookings. Being able to sell coffee at The Carrot Seed has been valuable because Kool Beans has been working out of a garage, owner Kurt Osborne said.

“Kirsten runs her business with energy and commitment and a view for the future. She has a great passion for improving our community from a downtown retail perspective, as well as for bringing people together to create opportunities to experience our community in a variety of ways,” he said.

Gjesdal said she has enjoyed becoming part of the business community. She attends various meetings and serves on the board of the Brookings Farmers Market.

“I’ve gotten a lot of help from other business owners, so I’m trying to give that back,” she said. “It’s fun.”

 

 

The Carrot Seed Kitchen Co. to expand in Brookings

As Kirsten Gjesdal’s store marks its two-year anniversary this month, The Carrot Seed Kitchen Co. is preparing to get bigger.

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