- Associated Press - Monday, February 20, 2017

TYNDALL, S.D. (AP) - When Ed and Carol Radack took over as owners of the Tyndall Bakery nearly 10 years ago, they had to learn plenty of new skills and undertake unique tasks.

For Ed, he had to learn how to operate the bakery’s machinery, perfect his management and interpersonal skills and . how to text.

“I never thought I’d have to do that,” Ed said. “But now I’m to the point where I have a flip phone and might have to upgrade to one of those fancier ones next time.”

The Daily Republic (https://bit.ly/2iNBxjP ) reports that the couple has run the bakery for almost a decade with the help of one other full-time employee, Liza Pilhal, and a handful of high school students who work part-time. The students often have hectic schedules trying to be involved in dozens of activities while also maintaining good grades and supporting jobs, and eventually Ed, who coordinates schedules, learned the value of a single text. Though he’s quick to admit his messaging skills could use some work.

“They send a three-sentence message in a minute and it takes me 15 minutes to type, ‘OK,’” Ed joked.

In May, it will be 10 years since the couple took over the Tyndall Bakery - a longstanding staple in the Bon Homme County town. It is unclear exactly how long the bakery has been operating in Tyndall, but documents show its history dates back at least 100 years to 1917.

The bakery has shifted ownership several times and, as its most recent managers, Ed and Carol experienced some growing pains after taking the reins. The most challenging, Carol said, was the customers’ adjustment to the new management style and sometimes slightly different products. But, overall, she said it was a “minor hiccup” compared to the rewards she’s reaped.

“If something isn’t selling, we don’t keep it,” Carol said. “You get some people who are upset about it - once or twice a year, maybe, but otherwise 99.9 percent of people are understanding. The people are great.”

And the Springfield native has had plenty of time to think about her likes and dislikes in running a business.

With no former management experience and a 23-year career working in a factory in her back pocket, Carol has missed only one day of work in the past 10 years and works an average of 80 to 100 hours each week.

The lone day of work she missed came in December, when she fell ill. And, even though she’s battled through illness before, Carol said that time was different.

“I just knew this time I wasn’t going to be able to make it,” Carol said. “I guess one day out of the 10 years isn’t so bad.”

While a single absence may seem like a tiny blip in the bakery’s day-to-day operations, Ed and Carol disagree. When Carol is gone, Ed and the other employees can’t make certain products because, even after a decade, Carol is the only person who has access to recipes. The recipes have been passed down from owner to owner, and come with a hefty price tag - about $2,000.

On the rare occasion Carol is gone, Ed is still able to open the store but isn’t able to bake many fresh products, and is instead forced to operate with a limited supply.

Aside from holidays and other special occasions, the bakery is open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 6 a.m. to noon on Saturday, but Carol will open her doors for anybody who stops by while she’s in the shop.

As co-business owners, Ed and Carol spend nearly all of their time together. But, Carol said she can’t imagine running the business with anybody else.

“It works better that it’s a husband-and-wife team. You know what your goals are and what you want,” Carol said. “It’s tough sometimes because 24/7 you’re with them, but I think to make this work it needs to be with someone you love.”

And as for the future of the Tyndall Bakery, Carol said area residents don’t have to worry.

For Carol, 10 years hasn’t been long enough, so the bakery is likely here to stay.

“As long as we’re making a profit and still having fun - which I’m sure we will - and we’re able, we’ll be here,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but we really, truly enjoy it.”


Information from: The Daily Republic, https://www.mitchellrepublic.com

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