Black Hills Business: Masala Mart
"There's no Indian restaurant anywhere nearby...," says Al Rodriguez, a South Dakota School of Mines graduate.
So Al decided to start the very first Indian restaurant in Rapid City, almost 15 years ago. And Now, Al is both the owner of Curry Masala Restaurant and Masala Mart.
"People have asked us to teach them how to cook Indian food, so we started doing cooking classes.... After a week or so, I started getting phone calls, Al, where do I get this spice? We used to go to Denver and picked up those things, but I say, you know what, we need to do something about it."
From just one wall of spices in his restaurant, to now, an entire store dedicated to international grocery.
"We used to carry like 5 different kinds of lentils, we now like carry 25 different lentils."
Al feels that this international grocery store also witnesses the growth of Rapid City.
"Because now we have a lot of more diverse populations, with the Air Force Base, more students coming into the School of Mines, different faculties, doctors moving in, they were looking for all kinds of things."
If you're interested in checking out the store, it's on 124 E St Joseph St, Rapid City; located right behind the post office downtown Rapid City.
You can also click on the links on the right-hand panel for more information.