Prins is a New Owner at Drooger’s

By Jill Fennema –

As of January 8, 2018, Tadd Prins is one of the new owners of Drooger’s Food Center. For the past six weeks or so, he has been learning the ropes at the Edgerton grocery store. Mike Drooger, who sold Prins the controlling interest in the store, will retire from the grocery business after 32 years.

Tadd’s parents, Gord and Judy Prins, owned Gord’s Hardware in Edgerton for over 30 years, so Tadd grew up calling Edgerton home. His wife, Erica (De Kam), also grew up in the area. They are both graduates of Southwest MN Christian High School.

For the past four years, Tadd has been working at V & M Grocery and Locker in Leota. Prior to that he worked for Southwest Youth Services in Magnolia where he was a youth supervisor and counselor for eight years. He also served as the Chief of Police in Castlewood, S.D., for four years.

Prior to agreeing to purchase Drooger’s share of the business, Tadd had talked with the other two owners, Tom Bouma and Bill Sandbulte, about working in the meat department, which is where his experience lay at V & M. When Mike announced that he was looking to sell, Tadd and Erica decided that owning a business was a good direction for them to take.

Erica is a registered nurse at the Veteran’s Hospital in Sioux Falls. She also teaches clinicals there for South Dakota State University and MN West Community and Technical College. The couple has five children: Elizabeth is a junior and Zachary is a freshman at SWCH; Kathryn is in the 7th grade, Victoria is in the 4th grade, and Sophia is in the 2nd grade at Edgerton Christian Elementary School.

Tadd said that he and the other owners will be working on how to best divide the work, but do not have plans for any big changes. Tom Bouma has been with Drooger’s Food Center since 1999 and Bill Sandbulte since 2003.

Kathy Jasper and Thea Nykamp are two regular employees who will remain on the staff. Heidi Bolluyt will begin working there soon, too. Lila Bleyenburg, who has worked for Drooger’s since Mike’s parents, Mary Ann and Arie, bought the grocery business in 1977, retired at the end of 2017. There are also several high school students who help out at the store with cleaning and carrying groceries on the weekends.

Many have continued to ask Mike what he plans to do now that he is not a grocer. After 32 years of stocking shelves and checking out customers, he has not made definite plans yet. He will continue to write his column and sports articles for the Edgerton Enterprise, and other than that, time will tell.

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Mike Drooger (left) sold his portion of Drooger’s Food Center to Tadd Prins (2nd from left). Tom Bouma and Bill Sandbulte are also owners. (photo by Jill Fennema)