PRIMGHAR—The only grocery store in Primghar is preparing a plan for an eventual transition in ownership.
Dillon Richter is a longtime employee of Bob & Scott’s who became a part owner on Oct. 1 of the business, which is located in the downtown part of the O’Brien County seat community of nearly 870.
The 27-year-old Primghar man joins the ownership team of Scott and Sherry Heppner of Primghar, who have owned and operated the grocery store for 35 years.
“This is something that Dillon has been considering for two years, maybe three years,” Scott said. “It was always an offer that was on the table to him.”
The Heppners thought they had Bob & Scott’s sold about two years ago, but that business deal fell through.
After that happened, Dillon became more serious about becoming a part owner of the grocery store and decided that is what he wanted to do.
“We just kind of approached the subject and here we are,” Scott said. “He will purchase the store over time.”
Dillon has been employed at Bob & Scott’s for about 13 years. He started working at the grocery store when he was in eighth grade.
“He’s not new to the game,” Scott said. “He knows the customer base. He knows the operations of the store. It should be very smooth.
“And basically it’s an opportunity for Sherry and me to eventually retire down the road,” he said. “We don’t have any pressing plans to do that.”
The Storm Lake native is slowly starting to cut back on the number of hours he works every week at Bob & Scott’s.
“I was working between 63 and 65 hours a week,” Scott said. “I’m 59 years old. It’s time to slow down a little bit.”
A day off work at Bob & Scott’s is not necessarily a day off. Scott remembered he has been called to come in and help on his days off before.
“It’s a very enjoyable business; it really is,” Scott said. “It’s very gratifying.”
The grocery store owners and their longtime employees have gotten to know Bob & Scott’s regular customers over the years.
“It’s nice to be able to call people by name,” Scott said. “You actually get to the point where you almost know their shopping habits.”
Dillon has taken pleasure in working and helping out customers at a small-town grocery store, which has led him to wanting to own one.
“I tried to work other places or go to school for stuff and I just never found anything that was really as enjoyable as this,” he said. “Every day is different. The whole thing is kind of just fun.”
After he graduated in 2011 from South O’Brien High School in Paullina, Dillon attended Iowa State University in Ames for a couple of years.
During that time, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in accounting, but he did not enjoy studying that subject.
That led Dillon back to living in his hometown of Primghar, working more at Bob & Scott’s and becoming the manager of the grocery store.
When he became a part owner in October, he suggested the grocery store be open every day of the week.
“That was one of the first things that he proposed to Sherry and me,” Scott said of expanding Bob & Scott’s business hours.
“Dillon was willing to take on more hours by doing this,” he said. “I give him all the credit for this.”
Starting on Oct. 6, the grocery store has been open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.
“We had a lot of customers that thanked us for being open longer,” Scott said. “We have a lot of people that get into town between 5:30 and a quarter to 6. It gives them that opportunity to shop and just kind of relax a little bit after work.”
Scott and Sherry are pleased to have Dillon as a part owner of Bob & Scott’s.
“Sherry and I are really excited for this opportunity for him,” Scott said. “It’s great to know that the grocery store will be in capable hands for years to come, even after I am completely retired.”
This story was originally published in the Nov. 16 edition of The South O'Brien Sun.