STURGIS | Until a return of warmer weather, when Chance Greco can again sell his signature pulled-pork sandwiches and cookie-butter waffles, he hopes to clean up in the artisan soap business.
Greco, at the tender age of 20, is already a small business entrepreneur, as owner-operator of the Moon Tap Bakery, a mobile food trailer in Sturgis.
Greco said he likes being his own boss and in control of things.
“I’ve always had a passion for doing things myself,” he said. “I don’t really like working for people.”
Something he couldn’t control, however, is winter weather. His mobile bakery-on-wheels is stuck on the family farm near Vale, temporarily out of commission because of the cold.
So in the meantime, Greco works with his mother, Loree Siegfried, at their small storefront at 750 Main St., in downtown Sturgis, where Siegfried offers massage, and sells custom-made jewelry and essential oils.
Greco is also making artisan soaps to sell there and is also making plans to sell light lunches and bakery items there, again, once the winter weather breaks.
Greco’s route to business ownership took him to Florida after graduation from Sturgis Brown High School, where he put a unique set of skills to use working for a European bakery.
“I really wasn’t good at anything in high school except math and cooking, he said. “Those were my two best things."
Working for the baker, like an apprenticeship, was more valuable than attending culinary school.
“The owner of the bakery was really nice. She had all of these incredible European foods. She taught me to make all of that food. It was free culinary experience,” he said.
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“I wanted to soak all that up. It was amazing.”
Within a year or so he was head baker and managing the bakery, but he decided to return to South Dakota to attend Western Dakota Technical Institute with the hopes of opening his own business.
“I really wanted a bakery,” Greco said.
Then last year Siegfried found a social media marketplace listing of a food trailer equipped with a convection oven.
They were able to take the Moon Tap Bakery food trailer to several events last summer and fall, selling croissant pulled-pork sandwiches, another signature waffle dish, malts and milkshakes.
Greco also plans to sell light lunches, brisket sandwiches, tacos, nachos, and other treats from a smaller food cart that he will park at 750 Main St.
The cart was originally designed to sell hot dogs.
“But I really don’t like hot dogs,” he said.
But for now, he will concentrate on selling his artisan cold-process soaps, which he learned to make in his off-time from the bakery in Florida.
He has found the food truck community here, however seasonal, to be welcoming.
“It’s such a nice community, all nice people,” he said.
“Our foods are so diverse,” he said. “There’s really no competition.”