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Friday, May 6, 2016

Coffee and music brews at Amped Up

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Melissa (Missie) Hale stops working for a quick coffee break at her business, Hales Guitars, in downtown Sutherland. Photo by Sarah Gengler
Amped Up Café and Hales Guitars just celebrated their one year anniversary in February and is hoping their success continues.

The business developed out of a home based business bursting at the seams for Dan and Melissa Hale. When Dan broke his back and couldn't return to work, his wife encouraged him to find a hobby that could help him through his difficult time. So Dan decided to pick up an old guitar that he had as a teenager and refurbish it for their son. As Melissa (or Missie as some know her) said, he started playing, caught the fever and hasn't been able to stop since.

From there the hobby turned business has just grown beyond what the couple ever thought it would. Trips to Sioux City to purchase strings and picks became more and more frequent and then the couple found themselves picking up music supplies for friends.

Hales Guitars recently celebrated their 1 year anniversary in buisness in downtown Sutherland. The shop boasts guitars of all shapes and styles. Hales Guitars sells locally but also world wide with a guitar going as far as Portugal. Photo by Sarah Gengler
"We would pick up extra to have on hand and they would go so fast that we decided to get a distributors license," Melissa said. "We haven't done a lot of advertising, people have just come."

When the couple received their license they continued to work out of their home, not planning for it to go much bigger until the purchasing of guitars began.

"My whole house was a store," she said. "Last year it had finally taken over our living room, dining room, office, two enclosed porches, the attic and two rooms in the basement."

Beautiful stained glass panes by Seth Bogenrief of Bogenrief Studios showcases more than 60 flavorings Hale uses in her coffees and frozen drinks. Photo by Sarah Genlger
The Hale's decided to look at adding on to their house but found their store on main was just as much and decided to open what is now Hale's Guitars and Amped Up Café.

"The inventory came in before the store was ready and it was stacked in our house to the ceiling," Melissa laughed. "We probably opened at the wrong time for the economy but we have our regulars who see us through."

Business might be slow in the store but that doesn't stop sales from happening on the World Wide Web. Guitars have been shipped to Portugal, Mexico, Canada and all over the United States. And the majority of Hale's business is over the web but the locals mean more to Melissa than anything else.

"Our customers have been so great. We've had to close our doors twice this year for family emergencies and every time, the first day I was back, they have been back," she said. "They've been so supportive."

People out looking for a nice breakfast or a quick lunch can find it at Amped Up café with her daily specials, home cooked style menu, coffee, smoothies and ice cream. Breakfast is served all day but the morning special can only be caught between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and then at 11 a.m. you can find the lunch special on the menu until 2 p.m.

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