It was at the International Home + Housewares Show in 2016 that Caroline Peterson, longtime owner of Sioux Falls, SD-based Plum’s Cooking Company, said that she would be retiring. However, at the same show, it was announced that another local business owner, Penny Klinedinst, would take over the business.
A bit more than a year after the purchase, Klinedinst has grown the business beyond what she imagined, but it wasn’t without a bit of hard work and faith, she said.
“We purchased the store in March and we did a complete remodel. We didn’t open again until August 1 because we really wanted to hone in on what was needed,” she said.
During the remodel, she expanded the kitchen area for bigger classes and more events and she re-branded the store, but had decided to keep the name in ode to Peterson.
“We decided to keep the name. It meant something to me to keep that name because that was the name she chose for the store – it meant something to her,” said Klinedinst.
However, added Klinedinst, the transition of ownership was easy because she said that not only was Peterson involved every step of the way, but that the two still talk frequently about the business.
“I feel like she is my partner and I don’t know what that transition would have been like without her,” she said. “We had a really deep respect for one another and she was so happy she wasn’t going to have to close the store. And now, she always has a hand in it so I never feel alone. She wants us to succeed as if it was still her own.”
Now, the cooking classes are booming and the store will be hosting a cooking camp for kids this summer, which Klinedinst said she is very excited about.
“I have been surprised that the classes have been such a joy to people,” she said. “They are enlightened when they leave and they are happy there is something out there like this. It’s an incredible confirmation that we are doing a good job.”
And, she said, the advice she would give to others looking to jump into taking over an existing business?
“Just do it. It is easy to be fearful and people live very protected, but if you have the passion, the rest will follow. It is the hard work and soul behind really, really wanting something that will make you successful,” she said.