LIFTing Up a Community

Cenex and Sioux Valley Coop partner to build a community hub in Harrisburg, South Dakota.

March 06, 2023

This article is brought to you by Cenex, a NACS Hunter Club member.

By Sara Counihan

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Harrisburg, South Dakota, is a picturesque small town that is quickly expanding. Located just outside of Sioux Falls, it’s a magnet for young families and those who want to be close to a bigger city but still experience that small town feel.

But sometimes a growing small town can lack certain amenities. That’s where Sioux Valley Coop comes in.

“We learned through research that Harrisburg was growing rapidly. It was full of young families that were building in a smaller town, but they didn’t really have a lot of options,” said Renae Greenfield, director of retail and operations for Sioux Valley Coop. “We thought that it would be a great place for us to grow and build and become part of the community.”

A No-Brainer

Sioux Valley Cooperative has five convenience store locations in South Dakota, including its newest one in Harrisburg. All locations are Cenex branded. When the company was considering the Harrisburg location, building the store in partnership with Cenex was a no-brainer.

“Cenex is premium-quality fuel and premium-quality products,” said Greenfield.

Partnering with Cenex, the energy brand of CHS, allowed Sioux Valley Coop to take advantage of Cenex’s LIFT Initiative, which provided Sioux Valley Coop with lighting, image and facility amenities, as well as a low-interest loan financing option.

“We think by partnering with our local stores and offering them this capital, that we are not only solidifying our commitment to the community, we’re developing trust on that business level with our business partners, understanding that we want to be successful with them into the future,” said Akhtar Hussain, director of refined fuels marketing for CHS, on a recent episode of the NACS Convenience Matters podcast.

Greenfield said that when the store was being designed, the company wanted a more modern, upscale design to compete with the other new builds in town.

“Because we had access to the LIFT initiative, we were able to think outside the box and add all of those extra upgrades that we wanted when building this store, as opposed to just building a basic store,” said Greenfield. “[Instead of] having to fix it up or add in later, we could do it all the way we wanted to right away at the beginning.”

Build It and They Will Come

The forecourt at the Harrisburg location features a lighted canopy with a 360-degree LED light band and a three-dimensional Cenex logo and backlit blue arch. This is what Cenex calls the Halo portion of the LIFT initiative, and it elevates the appearance of Cenex® branded locations, according to the company.

“We feel that it’s very inviting for people. They can see it from far away, and they’re able to notice that it’s a Cenex-branded store,” said Greenfield. “We hope that will make them stop in and want to come check us out.”

Read more about Sioux Valley Coop in the NACS Magazine article “LIFTing Up a Community.”

Sara Counihan is contributing editor of NACS Magazine and NACS Daily. She can be reached at scounihan@