Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Convenience Store Is Really Convenient / George and Don's Offers Customers a Drive-Up Window

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Convenience Store Is Really Convenient / George and Don's Offers Customers a Drive-Up Window

Article excerpt

Six months ago, when they first thought about entering the retail trade, Don Brown and George Collins had already established themselves as mildly successfull developers in the Oklahoma City and Mustang areas.

Brown, owner of Brown Development Co. of Mustang, and Collins, owner of C.C. Real Estate of Oklahoma City, still remain active in their respective businesses, although they have now branched into an unfamiliar area.

The two recently opened George and Don's General Store near Lake Overholser at 8201 NW 10th St. The difference between their store and the average 7-11 they said, is their store offers more personal service than the average stop and shop.

"We wanted to make it a place where housewives could come in at night and feel safe," Brown said. "We also wanted to open a place where people could feel they can come in and have a meal and feel comfortable."

That comfort has already made the store a hit with local neighbors, Brown said, and many shoppers who are starting to become regulars, even though they have only been open since April 6. Brown saidthey didn't have a grand opening because they wanted to "get their feet wet" in the retail trade and see what a "couple of rookies" could do.

It seems to have paid off for the developers as they said they expect to pay the bills and start turning a profit within three months, Brown said.

An added feature to the "comfort" of the store is a drive-through window where customers may purchase the same items offered to walk-in shoppers.

The idea, Brown said, was borrowed from the many convenience stores in California where the customers are always on the go.

"And, we think it'll really be a hit in the winter when people don't want to get out of their cars," Brown said.

The 2,250-square -oot structure features a colonial exterior that sets it apart from most other convenience store operations in Oklahoma City.

With start-up costs ranging around $300,000, Brown said they put in "about $20,000 more than we had to.

"But we really wanted to make it a place where people could feel comfortable in and not just rush in and out. We feel we're more of a "mom and pop' operation than just a convenience store," Brown said.

Currently the store has six employees with Collins and Brown managing the operations. They said there are plans to add to the payroll as soon as "we see how we're doing," Brown said.

The store's location, only one-half mile from the entrance to Lake Overholser, should enhance their chances for success, Collins said. With summer "just around the corner, we expect to draw a lot of the traffic going to the lake. …

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