Rickety Barn Now Home To Unique Firework Business
Fire Brothers Fireworks earns county permit just in time for summer fun
Several acres of land in far western Sioux Falls are currently home to an old barn, some cars and boats. But for nine days this summer, it could become one very busy place.
Andy Jorgensen owner of Fire Brothers Fireworks, plans to turn a vacant, old barn with a leaky roof into a drive-thru style, firework pickup. Customers simply buy on-line, pickup in barn.
“Coming from Tea, I’ve shot fireworks every single year ever since I was four-years-old,” said Jorgensen, 24.
It’s that very childhood nostalgia, he wants to see turned into a big, business venture.
“For me, taking the fireworks industry and running a store that literally was open the door turn on the lights, I’m thinking what if we did something online?”
Jorgensen says in his career of selling fireworks, he’s never seen a business tap into the online market. He claims this would be the first of its kind in the state.
“No one is trying to integrate the internet into their business in terms of fireworks,” he said.
But the project almost didn’t happen.
“Initially, we thought things were going to be good, but when I went to the city council meeting, [the committee] actually denied it.”
The land is technically owned by the county; sandwiched between city limits. When Jorgensen requested a conditional use permit or CUP, his request was unanimously denied by both the city and county planning committees. A small setback that didn’t stop him.
“Their concerns were that the neighbors would be disturbed and it was too close to city growth, the city was going to grow over it.”
It was back to the drawing board. He re-worked his conditions, even got a help from a lawyer. When he addressed the committees again, a different story.
“I really think we can make this work,” he told the committees, “and they felt compelled to unanimously accept the approval.”
Now, the real work begins, to build an operation, every little kid dreams of.
“You learn how to light a bottle rocket very, very young in South Dakota.”
The permit only allows Jorgensen to set up shop for two years. Which he says, is okay. By that time, he hopes to have a permanent place of his own.
He plans to be operational in time for this year’s Fourth of July. You can also check Fire Brothers Fireworks online.