When considering the bigger cities in South Dakota, such as Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Yankton, or even Rapid City, food accessibility may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, in smaller towns like Lake Andes, Mission, or Pine Ridge, the situation is quite different. South Dakota has a unique grocer named R.F. Buche who stands out from the rest.

Used with Permission
Used with Permission

The President of GF Buche Company since 2000 is RF Buche, who comes from a family with a long history of grocery business. The company was founded by RF's great-grandfather in 1905 in Lake Andes, SD. As a 4th generation grocer, RF has developed a true passion for the industry from a young age. In fact, according to Buche's Website,  he recalls sneaking out of the house during blizzard-like conditions at the tender age of four just to be at the store with his dad. RF has been involved in every level of the store ever since and remains dedicated to the business.


Buche's stores have expanded to numerous communities, providing more than just groceries. The convenience stores, known as Gus Stops, are named after the founder Gus Buche and are situated in Lake Andes, Mission, Wagner, and White River, with Buche's Gus Stop located in Wanblee. Additionally, there is one pay-at-the-pump location in Mission named Gus Stop Express. Buche Auto Parts is situated in Pine Ridge, along with Buche Hardware. Martin is home to Buche's Hardware and Lumber, both of which are branded as Ace Hardware. Furthermore, there is a Subway located in Gregory and a Taco John's in Mission.


It's crucial to ensure that food reaches all the communities in need. Additionally, involving local individuals in managing and operating these stores highlights the significance of "Buche Businesses" to their respective communities.

RF Buche is a devoted supporter of rural grocers and has actively lobbied on Capitol Hill to level the playing field for small, independent grocers. However, RF acknowledges that this is a challenging endeavor.

“Right now 69 percent of the market share is controlled by four grocers,”

Recently, due to his advocacy work and his company's dedication to their small South Dakota communities, he was awarded the Spirit of America Award, a special recognition from the National Grocers Association.

“It means a great deal to me,” Buche said. “We do care about our communities, all independents do.”

Thank you for sharing this story with your friends, families,
and neighbors and if you have a local business owner or owner of many businesses like RF Buche, we would love to hear from you. Oh, and don't forget to pick up a loaf of bread, and a gallon of milk on the way home from work tonight. 


What Did South Dakota's License Plate Look Like the Year You Were Born?

The first number on a South Dakota license plate is the county that the car is registered. For example, Pennington county where Rapid City is has a '2' starting its plates. In Sioux Falls you have either a '1' or a '44' depending on your relationship to 57th street.

When established in 1956 (and revised in 1987) the first nine counties were ordered by population. Starting with 10 they are in alphabetical order through Ziebach, with Oglala Lakota County (65) and Todd (67) rounding out the list.

Today the top 10 plate numbers and populations don't correlate anymore. 1 and 2 are still 1 and 2, but Lincoln (44) is now 3rd in population. Beadle is 4 but it's now 11th in population. See the list by population here.

On January 1, 2023, South Dakota started issuing a new license plate design for license plates.

So, let's take a look back at what South Dakota license plates looked like over the last 100 years.

Have You Ever Explored the 'War Eagle Monument' on the South Dakota/Iowa Border?

Originally being from the Sioux City area, I grew up knowing about the War Eagle Monument perched on a bluff along I-29. There was at least one field trip for every kid in the area to the monument.

However, speaking with folks from Sioux Falls, they didn't seem to know what I was talking about. All they know about I-29 in Sioux City was that it was usually under construction.

When crossing into Iowa from South Dakota on I-29, look up!

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