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C&B Operations, Erv’s Furniture receive Heritage Award

Companies recognized at 125th meeting of South Dakota Retailers Association

C&B Operations in Freeman was awarded the Heritage Award from the South Dakota Retailers Association at the organization's annual banquet in Pierre. Also receiving the award was Erv's Furniture of Bowdle.
Erik Kaufman / Mitchell Republic
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PIERRE – South Dakota businesses C&B Operations in Freeman and Erv's Furniture of Bowdle have 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 each 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.

The South Dakota Retailers Board President Eric Sinclair presents a Heritage Award to Matt and Janet Cronin of C&B Operations.
Submitted Photo

The documents also show Erv’s Furniture in Bowdle — known then as H.A. Mason Company — was also a founding member.


The only two business 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 South Dakota Retailers Board President Eric Sinclair presents a Heritage Award to Ann and Stuart Thomsen of Erv's Furniture in Bowdle.
Submitted Photo

“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.”

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
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