PIERRE, SD (January 11th, 2022) – C & B Operations in Freeman has received the Heritage Award from the South Dakota Retailers Association (SDRA). Presented for the first time in conjunction with the organization’s 125th annual meeting in Pierre, the award recognizes the store’s unique role in the association’s rich history.

The South Dakota Retailers Association was founded in 1897 by a small group of merchants who wanted to help each other improve their business practices and advocate for retailers in the legislative process.

Handwritten documents prepared by early association leaders show the Freeman business – at that time called Guenthner & Haar – was among the businesses that signed the organization’s constitution.

Only two businesses that signed the founding paperwork are still selling the same type of product in the same community as they were in 1897 and remain members of the association 125 years later. The other is a furniture store in Bowdle.

“Small businesses like C & B Operations are the backbone of their local communities, as well as the backbone of our organization,” said executive director Nathan Sanderson. “It is thanks to their strong support that the South Dakota Retailers Association is celebrating 125 years of dynamic impact in the retail community.”