Meet the 2020 S.D. Retailers annual award winners

Jan. 16, 2020

This paid piece is sponsored by the South Dakota Retailers Association.

Pop the champagne! (or should we say Gewürztraminer?!) 

Three businesses were honored Monday during the South Dakota Retailers Association annual banquet in Pierre. The Retailer of the Year, Restaurant of the Year and the SDRA Community Service Award were presented. Drum roll, please …

Rapid City’s Prairie Edge named 2020 Retailer of the Year

Prairie Edge and Sioux Trading Post has operated in its historic building in downtown Rapid City since 1980, providing an outlet for Native American artists and helping educate the public about Native American culture. The business offers everything from clothing, jewelry and paintings to books, herbs and crafts.

“Prairie Edge has become an integral part of the revitalization of downtown Rapid City and an important cultural touchstone,” said SDRA executive director Nathan Sanderson. “They focus on providing the best possible experience for their employees, customers and the people whose works they sell.”

The leadership team at Prairie Edge has been a driving force in establishing Main Street Square in downtown Rapid City, developing transitional housing for homeless people, helping establish the Lakota Nation Invitational Basketball Tournament and other important community and cultural projects.

Founder Ray Hillenbrand died last year. The business is owned now by his daughter Mimi Hillenbrand.

“Ray’s legacy and Prairie Edge’s legacy is you can’t just come in and set up and do business and that’s it,” said general manager Dan Tribby. “You have to help other people out, be a good community member and encourage your employees to be good community members.”

The business employs 35 people, including many longtime staff members. Tribby said that longevity is a reflection of their commitment to fairness, whether dealing with artists, employees, customers or other people in the community.

Alpine Inn in Hill City receives Restaurant of the Year award 

The Alpine Inn, an iconic Black Hills restaurant, received the inaugural Restaurant of the Year award. The award recognizes a restaurant that has earned a reputation for excellence with its food, service and atmosphere.

Housed in an elegant historic building on Hill City’s Main Street, the Alpine Inn is a must-visit destination for many travelers. Established by Waldraut Matush in 1984, her daughter Monika took over in 1996.

Monika Matush said it is rewarding to see customers return year after year.

“They came as children, and now they come as adults. They truly love the Alpine for its atmosphere and its homey personality.”

The Alpine Inn is a gathering place for local residents and features German specialty dishes. The selective menu has allowed them to perfect their hearty meals and delicious desserts.

“The Alpine Inn had a modest start but has gained an international fan base thanks to its old-world charm and unique menu,” Sanderson said. “We’re pleased to honor this landmark of Hill City.”

Matush said the family atmosphere in the restaurant also extends to its employees.

“A lot of the women that work here I grew up with, and we went to school together. So it’s kind of like family, and they act and treat this business like it’s their own.”

Schoeneman’s Building Materials Center receives Community Service Award 

Schoeneman’s Building Materials Center of Harrisburg and Sioux Falls received the Community Service Award.

The award recognizes a business that goes above and beyond to give back to the citizens of the communities it serves.

Video courtesy 44interactive

Schoeneman’s reputation for supporting important projects and causes starts with president Al Schoeneman, who previously has been honored as South Dakota Philanthropist of the Year and inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

“At Schoeneman’s, the spirit of giving back is such a core value throughout their company that they display it proudly on their website and publications,” Sanderson said. “Al Schoeneman and his staff know that giving back helps their communities thrive and makes them a better place for everyone.”

The business provides ongoing philanthropic support for many community activities, including investing in organizations that help underprivileged children, supporting programs that assist individuals with disabilities, awarding scholarships and providing generous donations to schools, and supporting numerous youth, athletic, community and charitable organizations and programs.

Schoeneman is the fourth generation to lead the family business that was founded in 1888. Schoeneman’s Building Materials Center also has locations in Hawarden and Spencer, Iowa.

The South Dakota Retailers Association is one of the nation’s oldest and largest trade organizations, representing almost 4,000 businesses in retail, grocery, hospitality, and trades.

Meet the 2020 S.D. Retailers annual award winners

A retailer, a restaurant and a business known for its community service are those honored this year by the South Dakota Retailers Association. Enjoy their stories!

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