Matt and Sara Ricke are happy to be making their home in Royal, Iowa and sharing their venue with the surrounding area!  Matt grew up in Granville, Iowa and Sara grew up in Algona, Iowa.  They went to St John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, moved to Texas for a few years with work, and then moved back to the Midwest to raise their family.  Having lived in northwest Iowa most of their lives they felt like they were home!  They’ve lived in Sioux City almost 20 years and their three girls have attended Bishop Heelan High School.  


The Ricke girls are:  Jackie, a 2018 University of Iowa Chemical Engineering graduate, is living on the East Coast and working in the industry.  They love when she comes home and visits!  This winter Jackie hosted a bachelorette party at the house where the girls could spend some time checking out the new venue and enjoying a dinner out in Spencer right down the road.  It was great having a space for them to all come and enjoy time together!  Lexi is a student at Benedictine College where she is majoring in Theology.  She will be spending some time helping out while on breaks and is looking forward to bringing friends to visit!  Becky will start the University of Iowa the fall of 2019 and is planning to major in Computer Science Engineering.  She looks forward to a built in summer job and the fact that Royal is so close to the summer hot spot of Okoboji!  The girls have enjoyed the process of mom and dad starting something so completely new – and have had lots of young lady opinions and input on ‘what a girl wants’ in a venue!  It has been a very fun – and funny – experience!  (ask Sara about selfie – requirements sometime!) 

Matt’s “real job” is at Ag Partners and he works at the Calumet and Sutherland locations.  He enjoys it – and is lucky enough to work with some really fantastic people.  Sara’s “real job” is at SoloStep in North Sioux City.  She loves her work and co-workers and is looking forward to working from home a few days a week and just commuting a couple.  The change of pace that working in the venue will bring is something that both are looking forward to – and they are so excited to bring their vision to life!   


This vision is what brought them to their mission statement – To provide a personalized, comprehensive event venue to Northwest Iowa.  The Ricke’s will strive to make each event special for each person who attends the Great Hall.  Being a premier event venue for weddings, anniversaries, reunions and other gatherings in northwest Iowa is something that they are striving for while creating the dream that is the Great Hall.  While putting together the pieces of the puzzle that will make the interior and exterior of the building come together to make a warm and welcoming environment they are not losing sight of the most important piece….the guests they will entertain!  


The building as it stood was initially opened in 1969 as St Louis Catholic Church replacing the original wooded church.  Matt and his sibling were baptized there in the 70’s when they lived in the area before moving to Granville.  The church closed from holding regular services in 2017…and closed officially the summer of 2018.  Matt and Sara purchased the site and started the remodeling in August of 2018 while they continued to live in Sioux City for Becky to finish out her senior year. They are moving officially in June -- the first big event will be in May and is the 60thAnniversary of Sara’s mom and dad!  


So – there you have it – now you know them…and they want to know you!  Stop in, connect on Facebook and Instagram…let them know a little more about you and what you like!  The Great Hall of Royal is open for business --- and your hosts can’t wait to meet you! 


**fun fact – the side of the building that will host the catering kitchen, bar and additional seating area is called IX (nine) as a nod to St Louis – who was King Louis the Ninth!