Sturgis Family Feature:  The Gundersons

Sturgis Family Feature:

The Gundersons

Al and Tessa Gunderson are big fans of Sturgis and the surrounding area. Tessa grew up in Sturgis and Al grew up in Piedmont, but attended middle school and high school in Sturgis. After moving away for college, they found that, even when they lived elsewhere, they couldn’t stay away from the warm charm and the hometown values of Sturgis.

The couple met when they were both going to middle school in Sturgis. In High school, Al and Tessa started dating. The high school sweethearts later got married and set off on a journey together that would take them to the large communities of Tucson, Phoenix, Chicago and Denver. During that time, the couple would earn diplomas, gain skills and experience big city life. All in all, they were away from Sturgis for 14 years. Al and Tessa had predetermined one thing during this time, though — as soon as they could, they would return to their hometown.

“We moved all over the country for school,” Tessa shared. “But compared to all the other places that we have lived since we graduated high school, we couldn't wait to move back to Sturgis. We moved back the day after my husband finished his doctorate degree. We are very happy to be back in Sturgis.”

Al earned his doctorate and is now a chiropractic physician. He’s been serving Sturgis and the surrounding area for years by providing pain relief and rehabilitation services to the people of his community. He recently helped open Key City Chiropractic and Acupuncture. He’s passionate about staying up-to-date with the latest research and treatment options. He’s excited to continue improving the quality of life of the people around him in an even bigger way.

During their journey away from Sturgis, Tessa earned her retail and consumer science degree with a minor in business. She worked as a buyer for a high-end boutique and also served on boards that specialized in fundraising. When she and her family returned to Sturgis, she had several different opportunities to pursue, but the one that she eventually decided on wasn’t originally on her radar. Her mom, Robin Baldwin, had purchased Black Hills Rally & Gold. Tessa was able to step in and use her expertise to help her mom grow the business to what it is today — an iconic stop for Rally-goers and a beautiful and necessary shopping experience for Sturgis locals.

The family is involved in the Sturgis community and wants to see their hometown continue to thrive. Their kids, Pate (11) and Rye (8), are loving it in Sturgis just like their parents. The network of support that the Gundersons have been able to find in Sturgis is what many young families are longing for. Pate and Rye are growing up with a close group of both friends and family. “You just realize that when you live in a big city, you spend a lot of your time in traffic instead of spending quality time with the people you love,” Tessa said. “We’re really blessed to live here."