By Aeriel Bright
A new storefront has shown up on Tegner Street in Wickenburg. Owner Ruth Filipek, of Ruth’s Bunkhouse, has set up shop, offering everything from home décor and furniture, to hand-made items by Filipek herself.
Filipek and her husband Dan are long-time cattle salesmen and ranchers from South Dakota. The Filipeks are well known in the South Dakota area for their fitting service of 35 years, 4H, ranching, hosting PRCA events and owning their previous store, Bad River Mercantile.
After the two started up Bad River Mercantile, Filipek let her creativity flow and began contributing items to the store.
“I started refurbishing furniture and putting it in his [Dan’s] store. Pretty soon all of my stuff was taking over his store and he said, ‘Why don’t we start you your own place?’”
And so, Ruth’s Bunkhouse came to be.
Earlier this year, in an effort to improve Dan’s health, the Filipeks went on the search for a nice place to stay in the Southwest.
“We had a friend tell us that we should check out Wickenburg. They said it’s a cowboy town; it really has a lot of heritage, culture and a lot of true-grit, genuine people. So Dan went to check it out and he came back and told me ‘Ruth, this is the place for us.’”
They packed up Ruth’s Bunkhouse from Ft. Pierre, S.D., moved the inventory down to Arizona and set back up on Tegner Street ready to be a part of Wickenburg.
The items sold at Ruth’s Bunkhouse uniquely reflect the western community.
“I put a western twist on everything I do. I also have a retired vet who makes my crosses. We have a rancher who makes our barn sets and corrals that we sell for the kids. We bring in a lot of items from local artisans. We have unusual hand-painted antiques, a little bit of everything.” Filipek even offers her skills in furniture refurbishing to her customers if they have something for her to spruce up. Anyone who stops in is sure to be greeted with a smile and a friendly conversation.
“We have everyone who visits sign our guest book here on the counter. I’m going to make up some of these post cards with Ruth’s Bunkhouse on them, so our customers can say ‘hi’ to whoever they want from Wickenburg and we will mail them out for them,” she said with a smile.
“We like working with the community. In the past it has been thrilling to help out and be part of the activities going on. Back in South Dakota we sponsored the classroom of the month. The chosen class would get T-shirts, a meal at Pizza Hut and backpacks. It was such a fun thing for the kids to do. We also offer a scholarship in honor of my father for kids in 4-H … We have been doing that since 2015,” Filipek said.
“People come from all over the world here, and the history is amazing. We settled here because we thought it would be an honor to live here. We just really love this community and we can’t wait to get even more involved.”
“We’re not ones to just fold up in a year. We are here for the long haul. I’m a big Facebooker, so tell them to look for Ruth’s Bunkhouse.”
Ruth’s Bunkhouse is open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is located at 360 N. Tegner St. A grand opening is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 20 during business hours, everything in the store will be 10 percent off that day only.
For questions or more information call (928) 231-4988 or visit their Facebook page.