Progress & Industry: The business scene in '18

Jill Meier • Jamie Hult
Steve Truong and Hanh Dang cut the yellow ribbon May 5, signifying the opening of Brandon’s newest business and Chamber member, Sassy Nails & Spa. Jill Meier/Journal file photo

Jenna Bowar-Duarte opens Catori Wellness in April. 

Brandon postmaster Kelley Lehfeldt holds a commemorative shovel from Alliance Communications and VanBuskirk Companies at the Aug. 22 groundbreaking. Jamie Hult/Journal file photo

usiness flourished in the Brandon area in 2018.  
Thirty-five commercial building permits brought in $4 million last year, thanks to new construction, including Alliance Plaza and the Arby’s strip mall on Splitrock Boulevard.
Last year’s commercial landscape also included plenty of moving and shaking that didn’t require a building permit. 
Let’s take a look at progress in the business scene in ’18.
Catori adds to local 
spa services
Jenna Bowar-Duarte opened Catori Wellness on the second floor of Splitrock Square last April.
“I’ve always been interested in helping people and how the body works, and I knew I wanted to open my own business, and now I’m here,” Duarte said. “Brandon’s grown like crazy and I’m definitely about working with the community and helping clients live healthier lifestyles and not be in pain every day.”
Her goal is to provide clients with a healing experience. Catori, she said, means “spirit,” which plays into her tag line, “healing from within.”
“When researching the name, I wanted something different, something unique. I didn’t want to be your typical spa setting like a lot of places,” Duarte said.
She customizes her massage treatments to each client’s specific needs and offers various styles of massage, cupping therapy and an infrared sauna.
Sassy Nail & Spa opens in Brandon Retail Center
Brandon Retail Center gained a third tenant when Steve Truong and Hanh Dang opened Sassy Nail & Spa at 511 N. Splitrock Blvd. last May. 
The new nail salon has six manicure stations and eight pedicure massage chairs, two of which are prince/princess-size (for kids), and also outfitted with the perk of massage.
“A pedicure is not just for women; it’s for everybody,” Truong said. “A lot of men think it’s just polish, but they don’t know how good it is.”
Pint-sized pedicure chairs aren’t the only new twist to the forthcoming nail salon. For starters, Sassy is open seven days a week, and serves complimentary wine and champagne for age-appropriate clients.
Brandon welcomes 
Lead Engine
Lead Engine is in the business of “match-making” – that is, matching businesses with potential clients through a variety of marketing endeavors. In March, membership of the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed Lead Engine to the local business community at their ribbon cutting.
Lead Engine is a team of sales professionals who drive top-line revenue growth for businesses by handling the toughest parts of outbound marketing for its clients. Lead generation and relationship building remain the keys to sustainable sales growth, which includes outbound lead generation through cold calling, as well as email and social media marketing campaigns. 
“Our customers deserve a customized service that matches their business need, the products they sell, and the prospects they are targeting. We are very excited to be a part of the Brandon community and chamber and hope to benefit local business as we focus on development opportunities in the marketing space,” said Brandon Kathman, director of business development/partner. 
Gas, c-store coming to Valley Springs
After 20 years of developing properties and re-purposing historic buildings in Sioux Falls, Rick Gourley set his keen architectural sights on bringing a gas station and convenience store back to Valley Springs. 
Since the structure at 310-320 Broadway Ave. opened as a Ford auto dealership and filling station in the 1920s, the building and adjacent garage have housed an auto shop, bar and casino.      
Gas pumps have always been there, but it’s been several years since Valley Springs has had a place of its own to fill up, and even longer to buy basic groceries. And since the Pit Stop and the Pump House shut their doors, the property has deteriorated. 
Last summer, Gourley began renovating the former filling station into a convenience store and kitchen. He’s considering incorporating a café, casino and bar into the 6,000-square-foot space, too.
“It’s come to take on a life of its own,” he said. “I never dreamed it. We just didn’t buy it with the idea of doing a c-store. But the stars are aligning, then along comes the realization that it could be a c-store.”
Post office breaks ground at Alliance Plaza
After years of waiting for a bigger building, the local postal crew saw their patience pay off as they took part in a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 22 for Brandon’s future USPS home in Alliance Plaza. 
Landowner Alliance Communications is working with Van Buskirk Companies to develop the property just north of the busy intersection at Aspen and Kirkwood boulevards. 
Plans for Alliance Plaza include two free-standing buildings and a larger, multi-unit building in the middle of the complex property with the potential for several commercial tenants.
Initially, the Post Office was scheduled to take occupancy of the new structure in October 2018, but is now expected to open this April in the easternmost building.
Arby’s builds, opens in new strip mall
Arby’s sauce, horsey sauce or ketchup?
No matter which condiment you prefer, locals were able to get their roast beef and curly fry fix a lot more locally when the restaurant franchise opened in Brandon in October.
Brandon Properties brought a strip mall to Splitrock Boulevard with an Arby’s in an end space and an additional 5,000 square feet for one or two more tenants. 
“We’ve been looking at Brandon for a while,” said Joe James, president of Brandon’s newest eatery option. “When this property came open, after a few years of looking, we just decided to go for it and be the developer, too.”


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