Frontier Photo Develops New Business Model

By Herb Ryan
Custer Free Press
November 16, 2016

Deb Wallenberg and Jim Understock owners of the former Frontier Photo at 512 Mt. Rushmore Rd. in Custer, SD. decided to slow down a little bit and get out of the photo business. Earlier this afternoon Jim said, ” After this last season, Deb and I started looking at all the years we have been doing this, all the friends we made and all the long hours we put into the business to make it successful. The photo business was great fun and a good source of revenue but we really want to have more time for ourselves.”  The photo business if for sale, but not the building. Jim and Deb have been working hard to renovate the space for their new venture – Calamity Jane Winery and Mercantile. The plan is for a January soft opening hopefully followed by a Grand Opening by Valentine’s Day.

The new store will feature a high-end coffee bar, occasional live music and a wine tasting bar featuring South Dakota wines, a varied selection of California and international wines plus choice selections from the popular Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City.
Complimenting the wine and coffee bars will be Wildlife Photography for sale by Deb Wallenberg, and a selection of quality Tee shirts, sweatshirts and gifts that Frontier Photo is known for.

” We are really excited about the new concept and are kicking around the idea of renting the space to small groups for special events. Still working out the details on that. We will still be in the bicycle rental business and Deb will continue her wildlife photography and maybe some special occasion work” said Understock.

The plan to “slow down” is a beautiful thing but, having watched this couple work , don’t hold your breath, but do expect great things and keep an eye out for the “soft” opening.



Jim Understock co-owner of Frontier Photo, gives a “wait till you see this” move in the the former Frontier Photo Store on Mt. Rushmore Rd. in Custer Wednesday morning, November 16, 2016. The store is being remodeled and renamed as the Calamity Jane Winery and Mercantile. Photo:Herb Ryan/ Custer Free Press.

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