Jim Holland

A family-owned manufacturing company with iron-clad ties to the small town of Philip will celebrate a golden anniversary this week.

Scotchman Industries employs the equivalent of 10 percent of the population of the Haakon County town, located approximately 85 miles east of Rapid City.

Scotchman’s 80 employees build and market 13 models of Ironworker hydraulic metal-fabricating machines, along with 13 different models of cold saws for cutting metal.

Founder Art Kroetch started manufacturing the Ironworker machines in 1967 after obtaining rights for the U.S. patent for the Dvorak Industrial Ironworker, which uses tons of hydraulic pressure to punch, shear and bend metal plates and sheets.

Art died 10 years ago, but the company has grown steadily over the last 50 years, remaining in family hands, with son Jerry serving as president for the last 16 years.

Jerry’s wife of 37 years, Karen, is vice president of finance. Their son, Josh, is a sales representative in Minneapolis and daughter Brooke leads the marketing department. Jerry’s brother and brother-in-law also work for the company.

“My dad did an exceptional job laying out what he wanted, and we have tried to follow that blueprint,” Jerry said in a company blog.

With the company’s main line being the Ironworker machine, Jerry said he has wondered if there was a possibility of saturating the industrial market. He believes the fabrication industry will remain strong.

“There are hundreds upon hundreds of new metal fabrication companies starting every year and the older ones are growing, creating a need for a second and third machine,” he said.

To celebrate the golden anniversary of their signature product, Scotchman Industries is hosting an open house on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the factory at 180 U.S. Highway 14, in Philip.

Credit Union expands

Black Hills Federal Credit Union recently closed on the purchase of pair of former Dollar Loan Center properties as part of plans to expand services in Sioux Falls.

Chief Operations Officer Jerry Schmidt said the former Dollar Loan Center property at 1901 West 41st St. is being remodeled with a tentative late October opening date.

Another former DLC location between 10th and 11th Streets in downtown Sioux Falls will likely reopen as another BHFCU branch next spring.

The new locations join the Rapid City-based credit union’s first Sioux Falls location, opened last year at 5028 S. Marion Road.

“These just meet our strategic needs in Sioux Falls,” Schmidt said.

Maverik store opens

The first of three announced Maverik Adventure’s First Stop convenience stores in the area is celebrating a grand opening this week at the corner of East North Street and Lacrosse Street in Rapid City. A second Maverik is under construction on Haines Avenue and Lindbergh Avenue in north Rapid.

A third Maverik is set to begin construction next year at the corner of Junction Avenue and Anna Street in Sturgis.

Family Fares re-open

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Elsewhere in Rapid City, two newly-remodeled and rebranded Family Fare (formerly Family Thrift Center) supermarkets are celebrating grand re-openings.

The stores, located at 751 Mountain View Road in the Baken Park Shopping Center, and the Eastside Family Fare at 1516 E. St. Patrick St., hosted simultaneous ribbon-cuttings last Wednesday.

According to a release from parent company SpartanNash, the $5 million remodeling of the two stores includes updated exterior signage, energy-saving lighting and new interior fixtures.

The two stores also offer a new loyalty rewards program; a new curbside pickup, expanded produce, bakery and deli sections, and enhanced and improved meat, seafood, dairy and frozen foods departments.

The Baken Park Family Fare also has a Starbucks coffee shop and café area.

Also, previously announced were the planned October closings of three other SpartanNash stores in Rapid City, the Family Thrift Center (formerly Albertson’s) on Omaha Street, Prairie Market on New York Street and FTC Express on Sturgis Road.

Toys R Us

The well-documented “retail apocalypse” continues, as consumers flock to online shopping convenience, forsaking traditional brick-and-mortar retail merchants, has forced another well-known retailer with local ties to seek bankruptcy protection.

More than 880 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores, including locations in Rapid City and Sioux Falls, will remain open while the Wayne, N.J.-based company undergoes Chapter 11 reorganization, according to a statement posted on the company website this week.

The company voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S., with a Canadian subsidiary also filing under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in Canada, to restructure an accumulated $5 billion in debt.

“For all of our customers, distributors, vendors and talented team members — Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores around the world are open and web stores are operating normally,” stated Dave Brandon, chairman and CEO, on the website.

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

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