Don't tell me the State can't do anything right!
South Dakota State University, my alma mater, makes some of the best ice cream in the state. The SDSU dairy program also makes some smart business moves. Ryan Woodard reports in the Brookings Register that SDSU has opened the Campanile Connection, a shop selling SDSU ice cream and cheese in downtown Brookings.
The new shop is getting up and running right next door to Sioux River Cyclery (a long bike ride always makes me hungry for ice cream!). SDSU instructor and dairy plant manager Howard Bonneman also looks eagerly to the gymnastics center next door and the spectacular new Children's Museum just a couple blocks away as sources of hungry little coneheads.
This new state-owned business (SDSU's second downtown venture this year, following a new branch of the campus bookstore to Main Street) isn't putting too much of a squeeze on other businesses. With Zesto's now moved out to the University Mall, there's no ice cream vendor within reasonable walking distance of downtown. There's no grocer downtown, either—hmm... maybe the Campanile Connection can snag some SDSU beef as well!
This kind of town-and-gown connection is good for everyone. The dairy products students make in their dairy-micro classes gets put to good use instead of getting thrown out. Students and residents get to make connections through commerce and chocolate revel. And everyone has one more reason to spend the day in the wonderful destination into which downtown Brookings is making itself.
Maybe DSU here in Madison can do something like this. Maybe our Tech Fellows could open a branch office downtown to provide cheap tech support for the community. Maybe our programming classes could open up a shop, Widgets While u Wait, whipping up quick Facebook event pages, blog polls, and other Web gizmos in under an hour.
SDSU ice cream: totally socialist, and totally good for downtown. Two scoops, please!
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