story and photo by Doug McClure
HARDWICK – The convenience store at the corner of Routes 14 and 15, formerly known as Kwik Stop, has new owners and a new name.
The store changed hands on July 1 and will now be known as Hardwick Convenience and Deli. Shoppers should not expect many immediate changes, according to manager Joan Knutson.
Knutson, who said she has worked in store management for thirty years, said, “We want to see what the business does and go from there.” She said it would be “at least 30 days” before any changes are made because “we want to see how it runs the way it is first.”
Even then, she said, “we’re not going to do much change. We’re going to introduce some new items in the deli.” Plans also include cosmetic changes to the store and new signage.
“We’re going to paint the outside, that overhang over the pumps, paint the inside of the store to make it look good,” she said. “Spruce it up to make it more appealing.”
Knutson said customers should expect the changes to occur “over the course of a few months.”
The convenience store’s first week as Hardwick Convenience and Deli has been busy with a “few hiccups” as the new owners work to establish and expand vendor relationships. Knutson said supply chain problems caused by the pandemic have limited the availability of certain products, including aluminum cans. The store is also dealing with a shortage of coins.
Knutson said the previous owners had decided to downsize and the new owners saw an opportunity they’d been seeking for some time. “They’ve always wanted to do this kind of business, and they decided it was the right time and the perfect opportunity to do so,” she said. “Things just kind of fell into place the way they were supposed to.”
Knutson said the store’s hours will not change. She encouraged shoppers to “just come on in, we’re going to do some changes and hopefully be able offer everything that everybody wants. We’re open, come visit.”