Royse’s is a mom and pop store you might have heard of. Delores Castle took over the family business and ran it for 30 plus years, making it a staple in the community.
That’s why we want to celebrate Delores as today’s Remarkable Woman. Reporter Aaron Fields gives us the story behind it all.
“I was daddy’s favorite… but the boys and I–we all grew up working in the store,” says Castle.
Delores and her four brothers were born and raised around produce. It’s kind of a funny story of how the family business got started she tells KX News.
“My dad who has always been an entrepreneur since he was a young man asked the attendant how much for that field of watermelons,” says Castle. “The attendant told him ‘oh you don’t want those’– but he saw an opportunity and he bought that field of watermelons for $200. He turned around and came back to Mandan and sold them off the back of his pick up that he was traveling with.”
Royse’s Twin City Produce started with only a dirt floor, but expanded to much more over the years. Delores says she never imagined taking over the family business and actually went to college for accounting. After seeing how much of an impact Royse’s had in the community, she couldn’t stay away.
“Because you really can go anywhere to get produce. We were a specialty because all we had was produce– but our customers came to know and love the fact that we would sample our produce, we would visit with customers, and do everything in our power to get them what they wanted,” says Castle.
They had people from all over the state and even surrounding states come in just to get a taste of their produce– and she tells me it was well worth the travel.
Castle says, “I’m fussy for watermelon– so I have to have good watermelon and I want my customers to have good watermelon.”
After over 30 years of very hard work she decided to retire– a decision that wasn’t easy for her whatsoever.
“The real reason that I decided it was time was– I couldn’t see raising prices anymore on our customers. As we know in this economy prices have been going up and up and up. I couldn’t do it to my customers anymore,” says Castle.
Royse’s gave over hundreds of jobs to local teens in the community as well. Something Castle says she will always miss and the bond she made with all her customers.
“We were in our community for over 70 years,” says Castle. “The greatest thing I ever remember is a customer saying to me was ‘you’re a treasure to this community’ — ugh, can you imagine being told that… it softens my heart like crazy.”
Don’t worry… Delores made some truck stops last summer selling peaches, cherries, and most importantly watermelon.
Castle and her husband still keep busy with miscellaneous jobs and hope to make a few more stops this summer. For the full history of the business, click here.