MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — One restaurant owner in our region is known for providing free meals to students.

He also makes his customers feel like they’re at home like they’re his own family.

Dean Aberle has worked at Homesteaders since 1984, two years after it opened.

In 2001, he took over the business.

“Opportunity arose and I don’t want to start over somewhere else from scratch. I had 15 years in here at that point,” said Aberle.

Aberle says he enjoys talking to customers both old and new.

“Every day’s different. You see different customers and you’re building relationships. You’ve got a lot of repeat customers that you see every day, daily and they become like family. and again, my staff is awesome,” said Aberle.

The environment at Homesteaders is so inviting, one of his customers is now an employee.

“One day I came here to eat with a friend. It just seemed like a warm environment, very homey, as we use the word. And so I applied. It’s a very welcoming place. You walk in the door and it feels like home,” said Jessica Knudson, a server.

Another important thing for him is showing recognition to those who deserve it.

He treats sports teams in Minot to meals when they head to championships, and another one if they win.

“We provide them with a meal before they leave for state. We just know they work hard throughout the season and they should be rewarded,” said Aberle.

Knudson says she isn’t surprised that Aberle was recognized, for all the work he does.

“I feel Dean’s involvement in the community goes beyond the restaurant. I feel there’s a lot of children that he takes under his wing, that he encourages. Once you’re a friend of Dean’s, you’re always family,” said Knudson.

And Aberle is thankful for the acknowledgment.

“Makes me feel special that somebody cares or recognizes what we do or what I’ve done. You gotta have them times where you also have to give, you can’t always receive,” said Aberle.

And that’s why Dean Aberle is Someone You Should Know.

If you would like to nominate someone for Someone You Should Know, send an email to ndfirst@kxnet.com.