By Martha B. Jacob –
It’s been a major imposition for residents of the Village of Ripley after its only grocery store, IGA closed its doors a couple years ago.
But last Thursday, March 9, a new 1st Stop opened its doors to the public, which will help Ripley’s residents with that problem.
Owner/operator of the new 1st Stop is Bobby Cantrell, who also owns 47 1st Stops in the area with plans of opening another five stores this year.
“I believe that the time for facilities like ours is now,” Cantrell said at the Ripley store’s grand opening.
“We started building this new 1st Stop here in Ripley in September, and would have had it open right on schedule if we hadn’t lost our electricity for a few days because of a storm.”
Cantrell invited all the members of Ripley Council, the mayor, the life squad, and police and fire departments to enjoy a meal during the grand opening.
“Our new 1st Stop in Georgetown just opened up a few weeks ago,” Cantrell said. “We have a great crew of workers in the construction side of my business. We’ve also had some of our employees for 26 and 27 years.
“Our kind of business has been successful because of two kinds of people, the soccer mom and the grandmas. They have the kids most of the time and they feel comfortable and safe to run into our store, to grab a necessity like milk or eggs or fresh chicken.
“Families aren’t going to do their weekly grocery shopping here at 1st Stop, we know that, but we offer most everything they’re going to need to take care of their families in an emergency and our prices are very reasonable. We are able to keep our prices low because we own our own refinery and our own chip company. We also have our own distribution center and commissary.”
The new Ripley 1st Stop will be managed by Heather Pitts. Branda Watson is the district manager.
The new 1st Stop has the perfect design to allow people in a hurry to get in and get out quickly, including a third cash register.
Some of the items available in the Ripley 1st Stop include:
• A huge selection of wines and mixed drinks;
• A huge beer cave with convenient access to all the items;
• Many items available for local farmers as well as boat supplies for boat enthusiast;
• Pet supplies including large bags of feed;
• Diesel fuel and motor oil;
• Very fresh meats such as chicken breasts, hamburger and sausage;
• Fresh produce, milk and eggs;
• Drinks of all kinds including flavored drinks;
• Personal home products, laundry detergents, with the most popular brands available;
• Quick breakfast foods and a food center with drink and coffee center;
• Large candy and treat section;
• Frozen items including 11 kinds of ice cream.
“We are proud of this new Ripley store,” Cantrell said. “We feel like we are serving a purpose to the residents.”
Ripley Village Administrator Pete Renshaw said that it has been difficult on the residents of Ripley being so long without a grocery store, and everyone is excited about all the groceries that are now available thanks to the opening of 1st Stop in Ripley.