Everywhere you look, the next generation is taking over a family business or preparing to do so. It just happened at Campbell’s One Stop in Soldiers Grove, when Ryan and Krystal Campbell bought the business from Ryan’s parents, Vicki and Brian Campbell, on Wednesday, June 1.
Ryan, 29, and Krystal, 24, have been working at the local convenience store longer than their ages might imply. Ryan chuckles at thought. After all, he was essentially born into the family businesses. Although he’s worked more with his father in Campbell’s Construction, Ryan has always helped at the store, which the Campbells acquired 12 years ago. He’s also been responsible for the maintenance at the store and the car wash.
Campbell’s One-Stop has been Vicki Campbell’s business to run. Krystal has worked at the store five years and “pretty much managed it for the last three years.” The biggest step for her is taking over the bookkeeping duties from Vicki.
It might be a challenge for Krystal and Ryan to take over the operation of Campbell’s One-Stop, but there’s a bit of a challenge in it for Vicki as well, who invested a lot of time, energy and emotion in building the store over the past 12 years.
“It’s hard for her letting go,” Ryan explained. “It will be hard for her not coming every day and seeing the local people. They’re people she’s known forever. That’s what’s so hard about it. But, it’s good for her too. Now, she can do other things.”
“We just want to give a special thanks to Brian and Vicki for all that they did,” Krystal said. “For the past five years, I’ve had the best teacher I could’ve had.”
For Vicki, the closing on Wednesday was a bittersweet moment.
“It was a very emotional day for me,” Vicki said. “It’s hard letting go. I’m trying not to tell them what to do. They don’t need me to tell them what to do.”
The other side of the emotional day for Vicki was her feeling of happiness for Ryan and Krystal.
“They’ve always expressed an interest in buying the store when we sold it,” Vicki said. “It feels good keeping it in the family and knowing it’s still going to be called Campbell’s One-Stop.”
Vicki is also happy the store will continue to exist and serve the needs of the people of Soldiers Grove.
Ryan said owning Campbell’s One-Stop was a dream come true for Krystal and him.
“We have both dreamed of owning our own business,” Ryan said.
Well, some things will change and lots will remain the same, according to the new owners.
Some of the more immediate changes customers may experience are more speed at the checkout counter during high demand moments, when Ryan and Krystal add a second cash register.
There will also be an expansion of the beer selection, featuring more craft and specialty beers, according to Ryan.
Other changes will include an electronic menu board and improved signage in the store.
Additionally, the new owners will continue to work at bringing more consistency in the pizza and deli selections. Krystal plans to add a nightly special on deli items, similar to the current lunch specials.
Another small change some customers might enjoy is moving the closing time from 9 to 9:30 p.m. for the summer.
Despite those changes and some others under consideration for the future, many things will stay the same at the local convenience store.
“We want to make sure to satisfy our customers,” Krystal emphasized. “Everybody can expect to get the same great service they get here now.”
“And, we want to thank everybody for their business and invite everyone to our Grand Opening on Friday, June 24,” Ryan added.
The Campbell’s One-Stop Grand Opening will feature cookies and coffee in the morning and a brat fry from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be door prizes.