The idea of a convenience store has evolved into the ultimate business
By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Two couples, Paul and Kim Seppelt and John and Carmen Britz, have been working almost around the clock to open Trails Edge Food, Fuel and Liquor in Buckman. The endeavor started in November 2011, when John and Kim got the idea and began to expand on it.
In January, the four purchased four acres of land on the southern edge of town on the east side of Highway 25. From that point on, it’s been go, go, go.
The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. Monday, July 9. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Kim said that their idea of a grocery and gas store has grown to more than they ever first imagined it would be.
“Everyone we talked to said the store should carry this or offer that,” she said. “We are now a 5,000 square foot convenience store on steroids.”
Better to serve the local residents and the traveling guests, she said. A snowmobile trail runs between the building and the cemetery and the business is across the highway from the Buckman ball fields. Highway 25 sees thousands of cars on the weekends.
Trails Edge is so much more than a typical convenience store.
It will offer an RV dump with ample parking for guests. Up-to-date gas and diesel pumps will dispense 24 hours a day and the store will offer automotive supplies.
While the Seppelts and the Britzes thought they should offer fast-food sandwiches and such, they were convinced to add a deli.
“We will have daily specials, broasted chicken, soups, a grilled sandwich menu, wraps and sandwiches to go and a soda fountain with malts. We will also offer pizzas for dining in or take-and-bake,” said Kim. “There are booths that seat about 22 customers inside and we will be adding tables outside for those who want more of a picnic atmosphere.”
The grocery line is more extensive than one would find in a typical convenience store. Trails Edge will offer fresh produce, a full bakery and dairy, deli and packaged meats and frozen foods.
And, like any other convenience store, there will be fresh coffee, pop, ice and plenty of snacks for the hungry traveler.
A full line of liquor will be available, too, in a separate section of the building.
But, since Kim has left her beauty salon business, Trails Edge will offer another salon with four stylists and a stand-up tanning room.
Both Kim and Carmen will be managing Trails Edge. They have employed 14 local people to help them.
Kim said that without the help from so many local companies working as if they were Christmas elves, Trails Edge would not have opened on time. She said she and her partners are grateful to Greg Gangl Construction, Kummet Electric, Athman Refrigeration, Saehr Backhoe, Premium Concrete, Boser Masonry, Lochner Plumbing, Bob’s Lumber, Tallberg Drywall and Britz Store Equipment.
“Owning a store like this is in John’s blood. Besides being a business owner now with Britz Equipment, his grandparents owned Britz Market for 40 years and his grandfather owned a store in Little Rock,” said Kim. She also mentioned a great aunt of hers who also owned a store years back, as well.
Trails Edge will be open seven days a week, from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.