A Canistota Couple has been named South Dakota Retailer of the Year by the South Dakota Retailers Association. Jeff and Janine Nielsen received the award at the Retailers Association's annual awards banquet in Pierre over the weekend.

The Nielsens operate nine convenience and grocery stores in Alcester, Beresford, Centerville, Chancellor, Emery, Freeman, Lennox, Menno and George, Iowa.

Originally from South Dakota, the couple was working in Texas when they decided to return to home in 1991 and open up a convenience store in their hometown of Canistota.

In 1994, they purchased the grocery store in Emery and from there grew their business into what it is today. Their businesses include a truck stop, convenience stores and grocery stores with and without gas pumps.

South Dakota Retailers Association Board President Gary Cammack says a lot of times when the topic of economic development comes up, people tend to think about big box stores and tall smokestacks.

"But the Nielsens represent strong economic development. They provide employment for over 140 people. The jobs they provide and the services they offer make a huge impact on those small communities."

So, congratulations to Jeff and Janine Nielsen - winners of the 2018 South Dakota Retailer of the Year award.

Source: South Dakota Retailers Association

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