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Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Benson’s Drug Co.

Just had my meeting with the owner of Benson’s Drug + (?Produce?) store.
He seemed receptive to the idea of selling produce and more food. The problem as always is money and the idea that one thing leads to another. I agree that an incremental approach is the best way. So many times we see government money wasted by an all or nothing approach. Gather enough money and tax breaks whatever to get a big grocery store built and set up and they do not have time to sort out all the problems before the high overhead catches up with them. A year later the city is wondering what grant money they can spend to take care of the blight caused by the vacant, out of business grocery store.

Randy, the owner talked of other stores in the area going out of business, Right Aid on Apple for example, how the big boys Meijer and WalMart want no part of building here, theft being the main point. He also commented that when he goes to Meijer he sees a lot of his customers there. The connection was that he would have to compete with Meijers in price without the buying power. I also told him that earlier about 8:30 I had talked with Clara Shepherd and that she was in favor of any foray by Bensons into selling produce and that she thought he was doing a good job. He also mentioned that the new frozen food cooler had cost $6,000. Remember too that they have made some major renovations. They have a new electronic sign and they bought out Mills next door.

Benson’s has found a way to make a small neighborhood store work. It is clean fast and efficient. Part of their success I see is that they are willing to experiment within budget new ideas to find what fits their customers need. I know the “within budget” idea is pretty radical especially to non-profits but hey it is working and not costing taxpayers anything plus giving us a needed service. And - that little piece of the neighborhood looks really nice.

The way I see it is that we have a pretty easy job. First, let them know that they are appreciated, say hi they seem to like that. Our other job is to check them out before we drive someplace else and see if we can save ourselves some money. Their job is to keep making sure we do. Sounds like we get the easy part.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative.

ps. See my side bar under "Stores I really like close bv" for link

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