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Sugar Monster coming to Prairie Hills Mall

A popular summertime food vendor is opening a new store in Prairie Hills Mall Thursday, next to the former Herberger's site. If successful, the Sugar Monster could become a permanent fixture, co-owner Jason Schmidt hopes. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)

A Dickinson food vendor favorite is coming to Prairie Hills Mall this week.

The Sugar Monster opens its new store Thursday, next to the former Herberger's site.

Depending on its success, the enterprise co-owned by Jason and Michelle Schmidt could become a permanent fixture.

"We do it out of our concession trailer at fairs, mostly all summer, and we just thought we'd put this in the mall over the holidays here, and give it a try, see how it goes," Jason Schmidt said.

The Sugar Monster, which launched in 2016, offers cotton candy, sno-cones, lemon shakers and its signature mini-donuts.

For their new store, they've added a mini-donut bar.

"In the trailer, we just did sugar on them, and now we've got several different toppings," Schmidt said. "I don't even know how many."

A dozen different glazings will be available, Schmidt said, and a multitude of sprinkles, such as coconut, chocolate candy dots, and even cereal.

One new flavor being offered is mini-donut glazed with lemon frosting and topped with fresh blueberry.

"You've got the sweet with lemon and the tart blueberry," Michelle Schmidt said, "so it kind of evens itself out."

The business was first inspired by Jason's father, Michelle Schmidt said.

"His dad kind of had the equipment," she said, "so we just put it to our use."

What the Schmidts enjoy most is that it's a family effort.

"We do it as a family most of the time, and it's really fun for us," Jason Schmidt said. "We've got the kids involved."

The Schmidts had the idea of opening a store in the mall last year, but were unable to do so before the holiday season was upon them.

This is their year, though, Jason Schmidt said.

"We wanted to see how it would do in a store setting," he said. "It's just something different for over the holidays."

Readying the new store brought with it challenges, Schmidt said.

"We struggled with the set-up for several hours until we got it set up the way we want," he said. "The space is kind of big, yet it's kind of small. We toyed with things for a while until we got them where we want them."

The Schmidts hope people will be just as attracted to the new store as they have been to their trailer at public events.

"People love the attraction with the donut machine going," he said. "We'll be making them hot and fresh right there. With the machine, they can watch the whole process. Then we'll top them right there."

Peggy O'Brien, Prairie Hills general manager, said Sugar Monster is a welcome addition to the mall's offerings.

"I'm always happen whenever a national business, but especially a local business, comes up to the mall and shows the community what they have to offer," O'Brien said. "I'm excited to have the Sugar Monster coming in for the holiday season."

The Sugar Monster officially opens Thursday in Prairie Hills Mall.