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    Qwik Stop Celebrates Silver Anniversary

    Innovative independent retailer keeps business going with fresh variety.

    PIGEON, Mich. -- The Village Qwik Stop, located in Pigeon, Mich., has been satisfying customers for a quarter-century, and to thank its customers, is holding a 25th anniversary celebration through the weekend, the Huron Daily Tribune reported.

    The store, owned by Mike and Lorraine LePage, opened its doors May 1, 1982, and held its grand-opening ceremony on Memorial Day weekend that year, Lorraine told the paper.

    Mike LePage worked in a convenience store as a teenager and was always intrigued with the business, he said.

    "In 1982, there wasn't a convenience store in Pigeon, and we thought it would be a fun business," he told the Tribune. "We've both enjoyed the business."

    However, some customers were skeptical. Lorraine LePage recalled one comment she received after the store's opening: "A customer asked me, 'Who do you think will buy a cup of coffee in a gas station?' " she said.

    The couple converted a former drive-thru car wash into the store, Mike LePage said. The store's entrance used to be the exit of the car wash. In 1987, the pair expanded the building and added updated coolers. Then, in 1999, they added a Little Caesars Pizza restaurant.

    "We thought it would be nice to have fast food attached to the convenience store," he told the paper.

    Today, coffee is a popular choice -- it will sell for 25 cents during the store's anniversary week. Fountain soda also will sell for 25 cents, Lorraine LePage said.

    The shelves have also seen a variety of items added throughout the years to meet changing customer needs.

    "We've added many items from groceries to pop, breakfast sandwiches and videos," Lorraine LePage told the paper. "Constantly through the years, we've added products to meet our customers' needs."

    The store is supported by seven employees, many of whom have worked at the location for several years, she added.

    During the anniversary week, customers can also fill out a raffle ticket for an anniversary giveaway drawing. The grand-prize winner will receive $300 in gasoline. Other prizes include a $75 video rental certificate, a dual electronic basketball game, a speed bike and a NASCAR mirror, among other prizes. The winners will be drawn Sunday, Lorraine LePage said.

    "We've had a great customer base for 25 years and we have very loyal customers," Mike LePage said. "We've enjoyed being here and this is a great community to do business in."

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