WAITE PARK -- Two years after watching his business burn to the ground, Tom Frericks is being honored by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce for his response to adversity.

Frericks, who owns the Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill in Waite Park, was named the Small Business Owner of the Year as part of the chamber's 2022 Small Business Awards.

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He says despite the tragedy, he quickly made up his mind to rebuild the business.

To see it all go down after 35 years, then take the risk to not only rebuild, but go even bigger with it. We were blessed to have the success we did.

Roughly a year after the fire, Frericks had built the new Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill, which was not just bigger in size, but included everything he used to dream about in his 35-years in business.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

He says instead of feeling defeated at the loss of his business, he seized an opportunity.

I was told no many times from many people and I wasn't going to accept it. I just kept staring straight ahead on the vision and the prize of what was in front of you.

Frericks says not only did he create something he thought was a fantasy, he increased staffing and will exceeded revenue projections in his first year since reopening.

He says he humbled by the chamber's recognition and grateful to all the loyal customers who supported him.

A luncheon is scheduled to honor the three business award winners on May 4th at The Park Event Center.

See our story about BadCat Digital owner Michelle Henderson who was named the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.

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