Chalet Market, a long-standing Billings deli and gift shop, is changing hands this month as owners Dean and Callie Cromwell prepare to retire from the business that Dean’s family started in 1981. New owners Julie and Ryan Johnson, also a husband-and-wife team, are relocating from Fort Collins, Colorado, and have an extensive small-business background in the restaurant and catering industries. Ryan, a Billings native who grew up two blocks from Chalet Market, was excited for the opportunity to move back to Montana and be closer to family.
The Johnsons saw a great opportunity in purchasing the Chalet Market because of its stellar reputation in the Billings community. Over the last 36 years, the market has become a destination for its gourmet selection of sandwiches, soups and homemade desserts, along with a wide selection of Made In Montana products and specialty seasonal items. The market has also become known for its elaborate holiday gift baskets, which the Johnsons are once again offering this year, both at their location at 327 N. 24th St. W., as well as at a kiosk at Rimrock Mall.
“We’re inheriting a legacy – Chalet Market is known and loved by so many people here in Billings and everyone we’ve talked to tells us not to mess with their certain sandwich they order,” Ryan said, laughing. “We are excited to build on its tradition as a family-owned local business, and eventually we want to expand on some new concepts.”
Their purchase of Chalet Market was made possible with the help of Yellowstone Bank and Montana & Idaho Community Development Corporation.
“The Billings community is lucky to have hard-working small-business owners like Julie and Ryan,” added Yellowstone Bank’s Vice President, Garrett Scott. “Yellowstone Bank is excited to help them get their start and can’t wait to see the business continue to grow and carry on the legacy that the Cromwells started.”
In the last three years, Montana & Idaho CDC has loaned over $17 million to Billings-area businesses. Small-business loans range from $1,000 to $2 million and can be used for purposes such as purchase of real estate, equipment, inventory or an existing business, or for remodeling or working capital. Loan clients also receive one-on-one technical assistance in financial management, marketing, sales management and other area of business management.
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