Destination of the Year

New fall destination for area families opens in rural Montevideo

At just 16 years old, Montevideo High School Junior Sam Ripley isn’t new to business ownership, having purchased abandoned storage units to sell the wares in his Erhard, Minn. thrift store for a couple of years. Now, Ripley is venturing into new territory, utilizing the land on his family farm in rural Montevideo to open a fall destination for families as Sam’s Pumpkin Patch. Some may recognize the name from the stand located at the Cenex Travel Plaza over the last couple of years where Ripley has sold his homegrown pumpkins each fall. This year, in addition to that, Ripley will be opening up a good portion of his family farm for guests with a lot of activities for families seeking fall activities. “I’ve kind of always, even when I was five years old, wanted to have my own business,” he says. “That’s what I’m planning to go to college for is business management or something like that.” 

Ripley, knowing that the local area doesn’t have a lot of nearby fall family activities available, started brainstorming ideas for the venture a few years ago. “I have actually had this kind of idea for the last three or four years, but I’ve never really gotten into it before now because I was young enough that I didn’t fully understand everything I needed to do to get started. But this year, I knew at the beginning of the year that this was what I wanted to do and so I told my parents what I was planning and they were fine with it,” Ripley says. “They’ve been very supportive and put in a lot of time to help me do this.”