Akins opens store in Soap Lake
Quincy-based Akins has opened its third grocery store, in Soap Lake.
The store opened in mid-December, at the same location of another longtime grocery store, John’s Foods. Akins bought the store in September and the deal was finalized in October.
In addition to the flagship store in Quincy, Akins owns a grocery store in Oroville, five miles south of the Canadian border, more than two and a half hours away from Quincy.
Soap Lake is 31 minutes away from Quincy.
“It made sense to move to this location that was so close, we could support it from (Quincy),” said John Akins Jr., marketing and social media manager for the company. In addition, Akins said Soap Lake seems to be in an upswing, so the time seems right to start doing business there.
“There (were) a lot of factors that made it really appealing,” said Akins, including the proximity to Quincy, the improvements to Soap Lake, and the need for a grocery store in that town.
Akins declined to disclose the terms of the purchase, saying only it was a good deal for Akins and for David Asker, the seller.
The store manager of the Soap Lake Akins is Amber McKinnon, and she has her own staff there.
The company remodeled the store, replacing flooring, shelving, lighting and several features. It looks much different from when it was John’s Foods, Akins added.
“There’s always areas we could improve upon,” he said of the new store. For now, they want to focus on serving the needs of the Soap Lake community, and run a store that meets those needs.
For example, the company rearranged the dog-food section, adding extra shelving.
“We seemed to be selling a lot more dog food than we thought,” he said.
Spreading the company too thinly is always a concern, Akins said, but the management and staff is strong in all three locations.
“It’s always a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons we love to do what we do.”
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org