2023 South Dakota Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year Tia Berens
When Tia Berens became engaged and started looking for a venue for her wedding, she discovered venues that could accommodate her and her fiancé's large families, as well as their personal styles, were limited. Tia knew to get the perfect location, structure, and vibe for her wedding, she had to create it. In 2019, with the support of the Small Business Administration, the Small Business Development Center, and a 504 loan, the Barn at Aspen Acres was born.
The Barn at Aspen Acres is a large, modern wedding and events center venue located on 40 acres of vast rolling prairie in Spearfish, South Dakota, surrounded by breathtaking panoramic views of the northern Black Hills. Both indoor and outdoor set-ups are available for up to 400 guests. In 2023, Tia grew her business model by adding lodging and additional meeting space. Recent construction includes several A-frame bungalows for wedding parties and other guests looking for a place to stay while in the Black Hills. The 1,500 sq. ft., modern A-frame Social Hall is perfect for intimate weddings, business meetings, graduation parties, and baby showers. Even during the tumultuous pandemic years, the Barn at Aspen Acres consistently provided 10-15 jobs for members of the community while offering a remote and safe location for events. With well-over 100 weddings and numerous events hosted at The Barn yearly, there is great confidence in future growth, both in sales and overall profits.
Tia is active in her local community. She helped launch two nonprofit community grant fundraisers, both of which are hosted at the Barn facility. The Barn and staff donate space and time to many local non-profits and offer a special discounted rate for local nonprofit events, which is used frequently throughout the year. Tia has participated in several SD CEO West Women's Business Center events as a panelist and has worked closely with the WBC to host women entrepreneurial focused events and pop-up shop space at the Barn at Aspen Acres. Tia also simultaneously served on two community boards, Visit Spearfish and arm of the city that supports and markets for local tourism and was recently the President of the Northern Hills CASA. She has served on the steering committee of the 100 Women Who Care About Spearfish, the Spearfish Souper Starz event and the advisor board for the new Spearfish High School Career and Technical Education Center. Tia was named the 2023 SBA SD Woman Owned Small Business of the Year.