By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor
In early September of 2007, the commercial landscape of Brownsville changed drastically. The Mississippi River town’s only business that offered gasoline, groceries and housewares closed its doors.
When Kwik Trip closed, it had a devastating effect on the folks living around Brownsville. The closest communities to buy a gallon of gas or a loaf of bread were 10 to 15 minutes away.
On Friday the 13th of April, that will all change. Matt Phillips purchased the former Kwik Trip property and has converted it into a new convenience store that will be called The River Station.
Chris Bray, who managed the Brownsville Kwik Trip from 1992 to 2002, will be managing the new store.
“People are so excited about us opening a new store in town,” Bray said last week. “When Kwik Trip closed, it really impacted a lot of lives. And it was more than the convenience, the store was also a social hub.”
Last Thursday the soon-to-be-opened business was a flurry of activity. Concrete was being poured over the area where the new fuel tanks were located. The large “River Station” signs were being put into place and vendors were setting up their displays.
Bray said the new store will be more than a convenience store. While they will offer gas and diesel fuel 24/7, a coffee bar with all the snacks and treats, they will be expanding the grocery lines and plan to offer fresh meats.
The River Station will also have some hot foods, including pizzas and sandwiches and Bray added they are also looking at broasted chicken.
“Having worked here for 10 years, I have a feeling for what people want,” Bray said. “We will continue adding things once we get up and running.”
It’s been a whirlwind endeavor for Bray and company getting everything ready for the Friday the 13th opening. The fuel pumps were to be installed on Wednesday and all the grocery deliveries by Thursday.
“Friday the 13th,” Bray said with a smile. “What an interesting day to open for business. I’m sure it will work out fine. I’ve been trained by the best (Kwik Trip), we have a great location right on the highway and the community has been wanting something like this for more than four years. I’m as excited as the folks around Brownsville, because I’m one of them.”
You can contact Charlie Warner at [email protected]