PHILIPSBURG, Mont. – Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen continued her tour of Montana businesses this week, visiting the town of Philipsburg on Thursday.
Shirley Beck and her daughter, Heidi, treated Secretary Jacobsen to a tour of The Sweet Palace candy emporium and The Sapphire Gallery. Shirley’s vision for Philipsburg began in 1992 and she hasn’t stopped working since. She and partner Dale Siegford opened The Sapphire Gallery in 1992, then added The Sweet Palace in 1998.
Visitors from across the world come to mine their own sapphires, shop an impressive collection of jewelry and browse the hundreds of saltwater taffies, caramels and candies. Beck and Siegford were honored as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2001 Montana Small Business Persons of the Year.
“If you think of Philipsburg, you think of candy and sapphires,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “The Sweet Palace and The Sapphire Gallery have played a key role in making Philipsburg what it is today.
Secretary Jacobsen then toured Philipsburg Brewing Co., which owners Cathy and Nolan Smith opened in 2012 to provide “quality, hand-crafted beers.” Philipsburg Brewing Co. uses “only the finest Montana malt, local mountain spring water and exclusively whole cone hops” in crafting its beer.
“Philipsburg Brewing is arguably the best meeting spot in town,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “In addition to crafting popular beers, they strive to enrich the Philipsburg community.”
Thursday’s tour continued at The Ranch at Rock Creek, where general manager Jon Martin discussed the all-inclusive ranch’s year-round unique vacation opportunities. Travelers from across the country take advantage of fly fishing, horseback riding, shooting sports and more at the world’s first Forbes Travel Guide five-star guest ranch.
“Montana’s beauty is on full display at The Ranch at Rock Creek,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “From the beautiful scenery to the historic accommodations to the incredible staff, The Ranch at Rock Creek is truly a Montana treasure.”
The final stop on Thursday’s visit was an open-house business roundtable at the Philipsburg Opera House Theatre, which proudly boasts the title of the oldest operating theater in Montana. Built in 1891, the Philipsburg Theatre has hosted many talented performers, and has four productions planned this year.
“What an amazing history this theater boasts, and even at 130 years old it remains a beautiful structure,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “It was great to hear the beautiful acoustics and see the pride the theater has in the community.”
Secretary Jacobsen was also able to visit with Granite County clerk and recorder/election administrator Sarah Graham, thanking her for her work with Montana’s elections.
“It was great to be submersed in the town and culture of Philipsburg,” she continued. “This town is a great community that comes together to support one another. There is an awesome buzz in the summer and this is a great place to visit. My thanks to Sarah Graham, Julie Jaksha (Headwaters Regional Director and SBDC Regional Director), Taylor Lovell (SBDC Business Advisor), Cathy Smith (Philipsburg Brewing Co. owner) and Philipsburg Mayor Daniel Reddish.”