Editor’s Note: Palace City Profiles is an ongoing series of community members’ stories, introducing us to our neighbors and the personalities that call Mitchell home. If you have suggestions for individuals or families with a great story, please contact Karen Whitney at 996-1140 or kwhitney@mitchellsd.com.

Not many couples can claim they found love at a Subway (the restaurant) dance. But that’s where Rachel and Eric Giblin had their first date. “We have talked every day since,” quipped Rachel.

Eric was attending the Subway convention in Chicago with his family, who have been owners of Subway restaurants for many years. Rachel was attending the conference as a guest of her brother.

At the time, Rachel, originally from Wagner, lived in Sioux Falls, attending the University of Sioux Falls in partnership with Avera School of Radiology. After earning her bachelor’s degree in radiology, she married Eric and moved to Mitchell.

Eric graduated with a degree in mathematics from Dakota Wesleyan University, the school where all of his family also graduated. He is now co-owner with his brother of four Subways, two in Mitchell and one in Parkston and Volga.

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After moving to Mitchell, Rachel worked for Avera Queen of Peace hospital as a radiologist until her recent career change. She now works at Dakota Wesleyan University as an admissions counselor. She says it made sense for their family because “we do everything Dakota Wesleyan.”

The Giblins have since had three boys.

Jack is 7 and in first grade in Mrs. Hofer’s magical classroom. “Longfellow has been a super place for him,” explains Rachel.

Jack has autism. Rachel revealed, “the teachers there have been the best for him.” “He has made so many gains there.”

The Giblins are also grateful that Mitchell offers all of the therapies that have helped Jack. They don’t need to travel to Sioux Falls because services are available here.

Rachel added that she had learned so much from Jack’s autism. It has taught her not to judge people out in public if she sees a child misbehaving. “You just don’t know the situation.”

Brooks, 5, is in begindergarden at Longfellow, too, in Mrs. Schramm’s energetic classroom.

Trae is their 4-year-old. We figured, “He was the third son, we love DWU basketball, so the name of Trae just made sense to us,” said the Giblins. “We do everything DWU.” Trae attends Palace City Preschool, where he is lively and loved.

Eric also has a 12-year-old daughter, Brynn, 12, in the sixth grade. She lives in Redfield with her mother and stepfather and enjoys family activities with the Mitchell Giblins.

They are an active family. In addition to attending and supporting everything DWU, the Giblins enjoy the many parks Mitchell has to offer. During COVID, they have made an effort to visit most of Mitchell’s 14 city parks and 29 park-side lake access areas. One of their favorite discoveries was the bike park by Lake Mitchell.

The Giblin boys also love going to the movies and are looking forward to more new releases in the coming months.

You will also find Eric playing first base and pitching for the Mount Vernon Mustangs. “Although he’s 43, he’s still pretty good,” said Rachel. Baseball is another family favorite.

Eric and Rachel are active community members. They attend First Lutheran Church, are members of the DWU TeamMakers, and are generous in giving back to the community through Subway. Eric is on the CVB Board and is a member of the Chamber.

Rumor has it that they live on the most family friendly street in Mitchell. One of their neighbors is like another grandma to the boys, even helping Rachel’s mother watch the kids a few weeks ago while Eric and Rachel were away on vacation.

The Giblins love living in Michell because the people here are so warm and inviting. “It is just the right size.” “It’s such a great place to raise a family.”