Dakota Butcher - 2020 SBA Entrepreneur of the Year

Tammi Schone
(605) 352-1102
Randy Gruenwald standing in front of a display of meats.
Release Date

Seeing a business close their doors in a small town is always difficult. When the Clark meat shop closed in 2008, Randy Gruenwald decided he wasn’t going to stand by and watch it happen. His professional experience was an excellent fit to revive the business. He worked 15 years as a meat department manager for Nash Finch. Then Randy worked as a banker before he purchased the butcher shop. Karen, Randy’s wife and business partner, worked for the previous meat shop owners and brings exceptional customer service skills and experience to their ownership team. Able to capitalize on their professional experience, Randy and Karen have a solid understanding of what it takes to be successful entrepreneurs.

Dakota Butcher partnered with GROW South Dakota for an attractive financing package to purchase the business in October of 2009. They upgraded the majority of the equipment, streamlined efficiencies, and made necessary improvements to enhance the business. Randy was eager to grow the retail side of the business.

Five years later, demand for their product was high, especially from neighboring communities. In 2015 the decision was made to open a second retail location in Watertown, SD. Again, with a financing package from GROW South Dakota, Dakota Butcher renovated and updated a commercial building. The second store has been a huge success and the community loves the availability to a traditional meat market.

In 2017, with great success coming from the two retail stores the decision was made to open an additional store in Watertown, SD. This store included their traditional retail meat products, but it also incorporated a restaurant and bar. Dakota Butcher recently opened its fourth retail location in Madison, SD. In addition to Dakota Butcher retail locations they also sell their products through coolers setup in 25 different convenient stores and retail location throughout eastern South Dakota and along I-29.

Randy was recognized as the 2020 recipient of the SBA Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year during SBA Small Business Week. GROW SD nominated Randy for this award and has been a partner in his successful venture.

Part of the financing packages Randy received included Grow SD’s revolving loan funds they received through USDA Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program (IRP).  Randy has received three IRP loans including two loans in September of 2009 for the purchase of equipment and one in September of 2011 to purchase the first location, along with equipment, in Clark. He was also a recipient of two SBA Microloans and one SBA 504 loan. 

Success story shared through Grow SD.

Obligation Amount
$750,000 IRP
Date of Obligation
Sun, 05/16/2010 - 16:05
Congressional District
Senator's Last Names
Thune; Rounds
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