MRPC News Release

For immediate release
March 14, 2017

For more information, contact
Maria Bancroft at (573) 265-2993, Ext. 114


Thriftway passes to new owners


LINN—Thriftway Supermarket has been operating in Linn, MO, for 50-plus years under various owners and names. Now the baton is being passed to a trio of dedicated workers – Bruce Bax, Michael Rackers, and Kevin Ousley. Between the three of them, they have over 70 years of combined experience working as managers with Thriftway.

“It’s nice to have the local choice instead of having to drive to the big city,” Ousley said. “We aren’t a big chain store. The owners live local. The employees are all local, and I think that means a lot to the community.”

Thriftway was originally started by Bob Goff, with the business name Goff’s Supermarket, in the 1950s. In 1962, Robert and Mary Wilson purchased the business and changed the business name to its current name of Thriftway in 1970. In 1980, Bob and Norma Lee Campbell purchased the business. During their ownership, the company changed its location with a new building, constructed in 1996, and has been at this location for 20 years. The new building allowed the business to expand its products and services by adding a deli, bakery, floral, liquor, video and customer service departments.

The Campbells were ready to retire and pass the business to new owners who would continue on with Thriftway Supermarket’s legacy and reputation. That’s when Bax, Rackers and Ousley decided to work with Legends Bank in Linn and Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) to seek financing for inventory and working capital for the business.

By working with MRPC’s Business Loan Specialist Maria Bancroft, Bax, Rackers and Ousley were able to secure financing through the Meramec Regional Development Corporation (MRDC) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) in partnership with Legends Bank and their loan officer Caleb Bax.

“We felt the need to help with financing because of the impact Thriftway has on the community,” Bax said. “It’s the only grocery store in town and the next closest would be in Jefferson City. It has been in this community a very long time, and we didn’t want something like that to leave the community. It’s also great that local group of guys took it over instead of a big corporate outfit.”

The RLF is a long-term, fixed rate loan typically between $20,000 and $100,000, but no greater than 40 percent of the total project. With an RLF loan, one job per $20,000 loaned must be created. These loans can be used for purchases of land or buildings, renovations, machinery/equipment, furniture and fixtures, working capital or inventory and soft costs. MRDC works in partnership with local banks on all projects.

The new owners say the business is doing very well compared to the numbers of the previous owners during the same time. However, they have even further plans to make changes to the store.

“We are revamping the deli/bakery area,” Ousley said. “The world we live in is a world that is all about convenience – grab and go. People want fast food, so we are trying some new things and switching things up. We want to give people options so they can come in and get meals-to-go that they will enjoy.”

Currently, Thriftway employs 53 employees both part-time and full-time, including Bax who has been with the company since May 1998, Rackers since April 1978 and Ousley since June 1997.

Thriftway Supermarket is located at 318 W. Main Street, Linn. For more information about Thriftway, visit www.linnthriftway.com or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LinnThriftway or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/linnthriftway

For more information on MRPC’s small business loans program, contact Maria Bancroft at 573-265-2993 Ext. 114 or at mbancroft@meramecregion.org.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 25, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.


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