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Community-based independent Russ’s Market celebrated its 50th anniversary in the grocery business on May 14 with a commemorative ribbon cutting at its original store in its hometown of Lincoln, Neb. The store, owned by Russ Raybould and Clayton Burnett, opened in May 1964 as B&R IGA.
“They were too busy launching a business to do a ribbon cutting when they opened that store, so we thought it was fitting to get that done today,” said Pat Raybould, president of B&R Stores, the parent company of Russ’s Market.
The name of the store became Russ’s Market after co-founder Russ Raybould purchased the business from his partner, Clayton Burnett. Today there are six Russ’s Market stores in Lincoln and one in Hastings, Neb. The parent company, B&R Stores, also launched the Super Saver banner and operates the Grand Central Apple Market in Kearney, Neb. The company is a major contributor to the local economy, employing more than 2,000 people throughout the region. The longest-serving employee happens to be Pat Raybould, who joined his father, Russ, in the grocery business in 1971.
“My father took a chance when he bought this store with his partner back in 1964,” said the younger Raybould, “But with a lot of hard work by a lot of great people, the Russ’s community has grown for 50 years. We’re thankful for our loyal customers and look forward to serving our community for many years to come.”
In a proclamation presented by Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director Judy Hallstead, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler declared May 2014 “Russ’s Market Month” in the city. Beutler recognized the company for its support of worthy causes in Lincoln. Russ’s partners with a diverse group of community organizations such as the Food Bank of Lincoln and Lincoln Community Playhouse, while individual stores assist schools and smaller groups with projects at the neighborhood level. The Russ’s Community Rewards program offers customers a way to join Russ’s in contributing to a variety of groups working to improve the quality of life in Lincoln and Hastings.
The 50th-anniversary celebration includes customer appreciation events and prize giveaways at each Russ’s location in the coming week. Additional anniversary promotions will continue throughout the year.