Bringing a business to town


TYNDALL, S.D. (KELO) – Starting your own business can be a difficult task. Starting your own business in a small town can be just equally as stressful. However one KELOLAND business owner is seeing success.

The Country Drive In sits along Highway 50 in Tyndall. It’s one of the newest businesses in town.

Owner Erin Hejna started the business in March.

“It’s our first season, we kind of came several years after the local Dairy Queen, the family retired and went out of business, and that property was sold and changed out for a gas station,” owner of The Country Drive In, Erin Hejna said. “We felt like it was something really lacking in our community so we decided to bring it back in and hopefully we can bring a good service to Bon Homme County.”

From burgers and fries to ice cream, there’s a little something for everyone at this business.

“We get our cheese curds from Dimock and hand bread them ourselves, they’re kind of a local favorite, and we also get local products from the Scotland Locker, does some specialty burgers for us, which are fantastic and something you’re not going to see anywhere else,” Erin Hejna said.

Hejna also works as a nurse. She says being a nurse and running a business have some similarities.

“Probably equally stressful, just in different ways,” Erin Hejna said. “You’re working really hard and you’ve put a lot of time and effort into all of your business and you have to hope for the best.”

She says this business gives the youth in the community an opportunity for getting in the work force.

“We really like a fun business, it’s given us the opportunity to bring in a lot of the local youth to come in and work for us, we have a couple of college kids that worked for us over the summer and 11 or so high school kids that come and help, it got to be their first jobs, first opportunities to run a counter, speak to customers, do customer service, a lot of cleaning and washing dishes,” Erin Hejna said.

One of those kids in the community is her daughter Drew.

“It’s fun because they’re all your age and you all can relate to things and you have activities together and you can talk about school, where with other jobs you are working with people way older or by yourself,” sophomore, Drew Hejna said.

Not only is this an opportunity for kids in town but also a local addition to the community.

“We love Bon Homme County, it’s been great for our family, we’ve been here for over 20 years, my husband has lived here his entire life, it’s really a great place to be and I think small communities really have to fight harder than a bigger community with more population to bring in businesses and keep businesses,” Erin Hejna said.

“It’s nice working around here, you know everyone that comes in and it’s easy,” Drew Hejna said.

While Erin says running a business can be difficult, it’s also fun.

“Probably working with our high school kids, they are just a ball of energy, they’re always willing to learn, given the right opportunities they’ll do anything for you, they’re just spectacular,” Erin Hejna said.

Erin says they are a seasonal business, so they will be wrapping up for the season soon. You can find updates on their Facebook page.

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