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BEDFORD, Ind. – Knucklehead Bend Market & Eatery, a new single store opened just this June, is the winner of the 2013 Convenience Store News for the Single Store OwnerStore Design Contest. Judges gave this independent store high marks for its unique motorsports theme and creative use of materials.
The CSNews for the Single Store Owner Store Design Contest, now in its third year, honors single-store operators who have created the most exciting, innovative and shopper-friendly looks for their stores. Entries are judged on innovation, creativity and the positive impact of the overall design on the business.
Knucklehead Bend is the brainchild of co-owners and co-managers Dan Johns, his son Ross Johns, and Kathy Stevens. From the hubcaps drilled into the checkout counter to the Chevy Chevelle bumper over the restrooms, the design draws upon their shared enthusiasm for cars and motorcycles.
Aside from its one-of-a-kind look, what’s even more impressive about Knucklehead Bend is the number of challenges the group had to overcome and how much of their own sweat and tears went into making this store a reality. Many thought they were knuckleheads for believing they could take a store shuttered for nearly two years -- with entire wall panels missing; cabinets, shelving and displays stripped; and a gas canopy that had blown away -- and turn it into a success on a $240,000 budget.
Those people, however, underestimated the power of ingenuity. The group drew on Stevens' background as the manager of a Speedway convenience store, Dan Johns' 35 years as a carpenter, and Ross Johns' experience as a backhoe operator. No task was too big or small for them to tackle themselves.
"We brought in every single thing from the cabinets, to the doors, to the ceiling tile and reconditioned it and repainted it ourselves and built a new store," Dan Johns said in his entry. "The only thing we actually bought [new] was the countertops. Everything else was reconditioned."
As of a result of their commitment, the extensive renovations were completed within a time span of four months, from February to May of this year. Knucklehead Bend hosted a grand-opening celebration on June 28, featuring live entertainment, food and kids’ activities.
For more on this award-winning store, look in the October issue of Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner.
Click here to see the winners of this year’s Convenience Store News Store Design Contest for chain operators.