Construction begins on new CENEX Convenience Store
TINA L. SCOTT
River Country Co-op, based out of Chippewa Falls, will soon have a new and improved Merrill CENEX Convenience Store at 1300 Center Avenue in Merrill.
Construction of the new building began on April 5 and is scheduled for completion by the end of August. The new store will have a full deli and walk-in beer cave, along with all the amenities of the other C-stores operated by River Country Co-op.
Demolition of the current store and pumps will occur in mid-June if construction goes as planned. “Although this project will feel long and our customers will be missed [during that timeframe when the old building is demolished but the new one isn’t yet fully open], we know that it will be short lived and soon we will see and serve all of our customers again,” said Store Manager Becky Guite. “And hopefully the customers will love the new River Country Coop/CENEX as much as we will.”
“We here at the River Country Coop/CENEX are very excited about our new and upcoming building,” Guite said. “We are excited that the layout of our lot will have accessible parking for our customers. With the way the lot is designed now, there are no actual parking spaces, which tends to be teeth clenching sometimes when customers exit the building.”
“Another thing we are excited about, on the outside, is the new pumps,” she continued. “Our current pumps would be 13 years old this September.”
“On the inside of the building, we are excited to have a beer cave that will allow us to offer more of a variety of beer and spirits,” Guite said. “We will also have a food/fast food restaurant type area where people will be able to come in and order food that will be made fresh to go, not food that has been in a hot case, although we will still have a hot case.”
The new store will be much bigger with a large foyer area and a larger, brighter profile that sits further to the rear of the existing lot, providing parking and pumps in a much roomier layout in front of the store.
River Country Co-op operates 21 convenience stores in Wisconsin and carries the CENEX brand in their stores. River Country Co-op, as a cooperative, distributes profits back to its members in the form of dividends (cash/stock). They credit their success to solid membership and the ability to identify and implement programs and services that not only benefit their valued farmers, but also their neighbors and community patrons, according to a press release issued by the company.