Food, family and friends

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VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — Their first business started in 2011 and since developed into several restaurants in the college town of Vermillion, but the business partners’ friendship developed years before that. KELOLAND News talks to two people who share a love for food and Vermillion.

Café Brule, Bru2, and Dakota Brickhouse are all owned by the same two people.

“We had no idea what we were doing the first couple of years it was kind of, a lot of restaurants open and they have money and they want to start something fun. We had no money, but we knew about food,” Monica Iverson said.

Iverson and Jim Waters both bring different aspects to their restaurants.

“I know the food, you got the desserts and the pastries, we can make this work. And we did. And here we are,” Waters said.

The dynamic duo brings both different foods and different experiences.

“I knew that she was very dynamic and I knew that she had a lot of front of house experience, and also I knew that she had a reputation and I had a reputation for different parts of the business,” Waters said.

Together they bring these skills to serve up their passion. 

“Monica and I are like brother and sister, we do bicker, there’s no doubt. That’s because we’re both passionate people and we’re both striving for that perfection,” Waters said.

One thing there is no uncertainty about is their love for what they do.

“It’s so fulfilling. We’re doing what we love because we’re both very passionate about food and baking and cooking and everything we’re doing we really believe,” Iverson said.

As for Jim, cooking is in his blood.

“I love making people happy, and I love bringing the community together. I grew up in a family of chefs, my mother was a chef and my father was a chef, and so the passion of food just came to me naturally,” Waters said.

The two met in 2000 and realized they shared the same drive.

“We had worked together and I knew that she was as crazy and as hard of working as I am, and so I knew that was somebody that would be as dedicated as I was, and then we can do it together,” Waters said. 

Monica and Jim have a lot of history together, as do two of their buildings.

“This used to be a wagon repair shop. It used to be an old creamery and butter manufacturing place. One of the biggest in the area,” Monica Iverson said.

As a cake shop and restaurant, the building seems to be sticking with its roots.

“We use a lot of cream and butter. Yea, a lot, a lot, yes,” Monica Iverson said.

Monica is also hoping to bring Main Street in Vermillion back to its roots.

“We really wanted to bring downtown back to being a destination,” Iverson said.

By opening up a location across the street, Monica and Jim believe they’re helping to create an atmosphere Vermillion can be proud of.

“We brought something to the community that they didn’t have, so it generated a lot of business that they didn’t have down here for a long time,” Waters said.

But all of their businesses wouldn’t be possible without their families.

“I think a lot of time people see Monica and I and they just associate it all with us, but if it wasn’t for the support of our families we never would have did this. And we couldn’t do this,” Waters said.

As of right now, Iverson and Waters don’t plan on opening another business… at least for a while.

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