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Jim Holland

Another option for your morning cup of Joe is brewing.

In February, Omaha-based Scooter’s Coffee announced completion of an agreement with a Rapid City-based franchise group to build up to four new Scooter’s Coffee shops in Rapid City and Spearfish.

Franchisee for the four western South Dakota shops is Family Fuel, LLC., which purchased the corner property at 1821 Fifth St. in Rapid City from Gordon and Connie Howie in September for $175,900, according to county records.

The husband and wife team of Drew and Jodi Purdy of Rapid City are the principals in Family Fuel, LLC.

Site preparation is underway for the first Scooter’s Coffee, planned as a drive-up kiosk only with no interior seating.

Drew said second and third Rapid City shops, locations to be determined, could include an 1,800 square-foot coffee shop with sit-down service.

Scooter’s also features a nearly 100 percent gluten-free menu of beverages and baked goods and recently added gluten-free brownies to their pastry menu. All menu items will be available at the drive-up kiosk, he said.

Scooter’s Coffee is quickly approaching 200 locations in 15 states and recently celebrated a grand opening of another Sioux Falls area location, according to the company website.

Scooter’s was founded in 1998 by Don and Linda Eckles in Bellevue, Neb. Their signature coffee beverage is called the Caramelicious.

A family member recommended the Nebraska-based company as a good opportunity, Drew said.

“We thought it would be a good opportunity for the (Eckles) family to have something out this way,” Drew said.

Drew said there are hopes of opening the Fifth and St. Patrick Street location by Christmas or early January,

For more information, see scooterscoffee.com, or check out their Facebook page.

Freed’s Floors

Since a fire heavily damaged the Freed’s Fine Furnishings building on Sturgis Road earlier this year, the store’s owners have consolidated their furniture and flooring offerings at their Furniture Mart location at the corner of Fifth and Main streets in downtown Rapid City.

With a remodel and return to the Sturgis Road location very much up in the air, the decision was made to combine the flooring inventory from both Freed’s and Furniture Mart at a newly remodeled location, to be called Freed’s Floors, at 1825 Haines Ave., formerly the location of Office Max.

Furniture Mart is also going to see a rebranding with all furniture consolidated downtown. That location will be known as Fifth & Main Furniture by Freed’s.

Erin Krueger of Freed’s said hopes are to have the Freed’s Floors location ready for a soft opening yet this year.

Plans for the downtown store makeover, both interior and exterior, are working their way through historic building preservation guidelines and will not start until later in 2018, Krueger said.

The company, which also includes the Ashley Furniture Homestore on Haines Avenue, is working with insurance companies on the future of Freed’s Sturgis Road location, Krueger said.

“Maybe some things happen for a reason,” Krueger said. “I think it’ll be an exciting restart for us.”

Hardee’s and Sonic

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Progressing nicely in the northeast part of Rapid City are two additions to already existing restaurant franchises in town. A third Sonic Drive-In is under construction at 502 Century Road, across from Popeye’s Chicken.

A new Hardee’s restaurant is going up at the intersection of Cambell Street and East North Street, apparently a replacement for another Hardee’s, further west on the south side of East North Street in the Northgate Shopping Center.

There are no firm dates for the opening dates of either restaurant. A call to the regional franchise firm for Hardee’s was not returned by deadline. More information should be available soon.

Black Hills Transfer award

Black Hills Transfer and owner Michael Johnson are one of three national winners of the national FedEx Ground Entrepreneur of the Year award. Johnson received the award on Oct. 19 in Pittsburgh.

Black Hills Transfer was one of 20 finalists for the FedEx award from a pool of more than 6,700 businesses.

According to a release BHT has grown to 13 employees and a 14-vehicle fleet in less than three years.

Johnson emphasizes safety for his drivers with training programs, regular meetings and a system of monitoring drivers with vehicle diagnostics.

BHT employees have been known to shovel snow from driveways of people who are physically challenged, carry in groceries and walk elderly customers to their vehicles or mailboxes.

“We want them to always consider the other person’s perspective,” Johnson said in the release.

The business is also involved in charitable organizations in the area. Johnson serves as a board member for South Dakota Walleyes Unlimited.

  Contact Jim Holland at 605-394-8429 or at jim.holland@rapidcityjournal.com.

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