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By Mary Alford
N-H Staff Writer
A new competitor has arrived on the Owen County scene.
Ron and Claudette Howard of R and C Marts are new to the private industry world, but hope their investment, a Valero Gas Station, will gain ground here in Owenton.
“It’s our first venture into the private industry and you know, we’re excited about it, everything seems to be running smooth,” Ron Howard said.
The new store is located in the previous AmeriMart location.
The Howards chose the Owen County area and that specific location for a variety of reasons.
“I was kind of familiar with the location and I thought it was ideal for the convenience, the parking lot area, and the vicinity in the town,” Howard said.
The couple said their landlords, Ashcraft Realty, have been a great help and have gotten them many local connections.
“It seems as though the community is accepting us,” Howard said.
Howard said the new Valero is definitely going to be competitive in their gasoline prices.
“We are very proud to bring in lower gas prices than the county has seen,” Howard said.
The new Valero opens at 6 a.m. and stays open till 10 p.m., with gas pumps open 24 hours. The store is closed on Sundays for church.
The station offers a vast variety of breakfast foods such as biscuits and gravy, sausage biscuits and ham egg and cheese biscuits.
“We also have fresh baked donuts each morning and they are baked here in the store,” Howard said.
At lunch, they have a full-time deli that will make sandwiches individually, for groups and accept call-in orders.
The store also contains a roller grill, which features hot dogs, sausages and egg rolls.
The biggest item they have, Howard said, is eight flavors of soft serve ice cream. The store even has benches outside for people to sit and congregate while enjoying the soft serve.
Alicia Bell, an Owen County resident, has been to the store and thought highly of it.
“It is a clean, friendly place and their ice cream is really good,” Bell said.
Howard said the Valero is at a spacious location with wide aisles that are easy to navigate and everything is in the open.
According to Howard, the service, the friendliness and the cleanliness of the store are all qualities that contribute to its uniqueness.