Ben and April Grenier love Mitchell, but they didn’t choose to live here.
“Cabela’s brought us here,” said Ben. “We knew we wanted to be in the West or Midwest, but we didn’t get to choose where.”
He is the general manager at Cabela’s in Mitchell, and April is a labor and delivery nurse at Avera Queen of Peace. They also have three children, sons 10-year-old Drake and 7-year-old Parker, and daughter Avery, 17 months.
The Greniers grew up in Michigan. Ben graduated from Western Michigan University. When he was a student, he worked at the hospital in Kalamazoo, where he met April, who was working there as a nurse.
When Ben graduated, he started his career with Cabela’s in their Dundee, Michigan, store. From there, they moved around the country because Ben was tasked with opening new stores for the outdoor retailer. Over the past 15 years, they’ve lived in five communities.
Five years ago, Ben was promoted to the general manager position at Cabela’s in Mitchell, and this has been their home ever since.
He is enthusiastic about the changes in his workplace since Bass Pros purchased Cabela’s last year.
“It was a positive process, and Bass Pros is very employee-centered,” said Ben. “People can expect to see a return to more participation in community activities and more fun events to get people out to the store, like our Santa’s wonderland last Christmas.”
The store’s name has not explicitly changed, but Cabela’s is now a division of Bass Pros. Customers will notice a shift to include more fishing equipment and boats.
Although April did not work outside the home for the first year the family was in Mitchell, she now finds her work to be fulfilling, both on the job at Avera and off.
“Being in Mitchell means that I don’t just see my clients when they are in the hospital having a baby,” she said. “Sometimes I also see them when we’re out for dinner or buying groceries. It’s fun to make those lasting connections.”
April and Ben have found Mitchell to be a welcoming place for their family to thrive. Their boys play baseball and hockey, and they’ve made good friends through those activities.
“We have a core group of hockey friends that we hang out with,” said Ben. “We hope we get to stay here; we’ve made such great connections.”
“We love the people and the schools,” said April. “Even though Mitchell feels small, we have everything we need here.”
The Greniers say they feel like their relocation to Mitchell was meant to be. When they told family members about the move, one of April’s cousins sent her a photo of her late grandmother posing in front of the Corn Palace sometime in the 1960s. It’s now framed in their home.
“It feels so nice to know that she passed through this town where we now live,” said April. “I guess you could say that we didn’t choose Mitchell – it chose us.”