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Posted: February 23, 2012 9:01 p.m.

Supporter Spotlight: B & J Package Store

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B & J Package Store, located on Highway 138, has been a Walnut Grove mainstay for the past 48 years.

Current owner John Pringle bought the business in 1999, and the business has since added a larger variety of liquors and a couple of storage rooms and now has the capability for credit card transactions.

Longtime employee Carl Mrozowski believes their strength is in their attitude.

"We've got good attitudes here," said Mrozowski. "We treat all of our customers great."

Pringle retired from Equifax after working there for 36 years and began looking into opening his own business. He looked over business models from fast food chains, rental stores and many other types. From his experience as an auditor at Equifax, Pringle noticed that liquor stores were traditionally easier to run.

"There are a lot of rules to follow, you know," chuckled Pringle, thinking back in hindsight. "Business gets a little more complicated each year when you're handling those reports. But any business has to do it."

Deciding to purchase B & J, which was up for sale, Pringle bought the store from Larry Smith, who took over the business from original owners Janet and Bob Byrd in 1973. Janet still owns the land that the store occupies.

Mrozowski, who has worked for the store for the past 30 years, stayed on board to work with Pringle after the purchase. Mrozowski continues to enjoy working at B & J.

"I like the relationships I have with our customers who come in here," said Mrozowski. "It's a steady job and a good job."

Pringle, who is originally from Kansas, is also highly active in the local community. He is part of the Downtown Development Authority in Walnut Grove and is head trustee at the Walnut Grove Methodist Church. He also takes part in activities in schools and law enforcement. Each year, he participates in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) for schools.

In addition to its wide assortment of imported and domestic wine, beer and liquor, the package store also offers keg orders and party snacks.

B & J Package Store is currently holding a five percent discount on all alcoholic beverages. The customer appreciation sale will run through the next 90 days.

"You ever go to the grocery store and everything that's on sale is nothing you use? I notice it all the time," said Pringle. "So that's where I got the idea. I wanted to able to provide the sale for everyone."

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