BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — A long-time convenience store in Brookings is closing after 33 years in operation.
Gary Newman has owned Newman’s Convenience Store for over three decades, but now it’s time for retirement.
“I’ve got customers that have been coming here for 33 years,” Newman said. “Through all this construction and that kind of stuff, you couldn’t even get up and down the street and just a little path to get in here and they found their way in. I call that loyalty.”
Despite the pandemic and 6th Street construction, Newman’s decision was based on retirement. A plan he says he has had in mind for about a year.
“I’m going to, first of all, just kick back and relax,” Newman said. “I’d like to do some travel. I’ve never had a chance to take off before. Now I have the chance to do it, and I don’t have to worry about getting back or find somebody to work for me to run the station.”
Throughout the years, many upgrades have been made, including new pumps and computer systems. But there is one thing that never changed– Gary’s customer service.
“My dad was all about customer service and he displayed that here,” son, Jeff Newman said. “There’s people young and old that come in that appreciated his type of business and his service. You just don’t see that type of service anymore.”
Even though the store isn’t easy to get to right now, both of Gary’s sons know customers and friends will still find their way.
“They want to say hi to Gary,” son, Jason Newman said. “Gary calls them by name. It’s a great friendship and it’s one that we’re going to miss. I know my dad is going to miss it.”
“To see dad. That’s why they’ll find their way in here because of him and that’s just the relationship that he had over the years with his customers,” Jeff said. “It’s amazing the people that came and found their way in here to stop and pay a visit to dad.”
Customers visiting to see Gary, who greets them with a smile and one of a kind service.
Newman’s last day open is Tuesday, June 30. The store is for sale and the Newman family is hopeful there will be a buyer soon.