WILKIE — A mainstay Main Street business in Wilkie, Reddi-Mart, now has new owners. Former owners Brenda Stacey and her daughter Katrina Erickson have handed over the keys to new owners Lauralee and Kevin Kropf and her brother Jerel Wood.
Brenda Stacey and her two daughters moved to Wilkie, joining Brenda’s mom Fran Stacey. Brenda bought the business from her mom in 2011. Over the years many people have worked at "the Red" learning about business and good customer service.
Many services have changed and been added over the past 11 years. One addition to the store was to display and sell local crafts persons' products. It is important, Stacey said, that all businesses support each other in a small community as that is the only way to survive.
Mayor David Ziegler thanked Brenda and Katrina and staff for the commitment to keep the business open during the pandemic. He went on to say, “With so many businesses closing in the province and the country because of the pandemic, it takes dedication and determination for independent business owners to stay open.”
Ziegler wished Lauralee and Kevin Kropf and Jerel Wood, new owners, the best in this new chapter in their lives.
“I will be coming in the morning for my regular cappuccino, listening to the latest news, and, of course, bringing the grandkids to the Reddi in the summer months for the absolute best soft ice cream and orange floats in Saskatchewan."
The pandemic of the past two years has been stressful, but Stacey and her staff were determined to stay open to serve Wilkie and the surrounding community. She gave high praise to longtime staff members Maegan Jones, Katrina Erickson and others who kept the business going.
“There is a sadness in that I will no longer be at the store, but the time is right for me to retire. I wish the absolute best to Lauralee, Kevin and Jerel and hope the community district will give them the support I received,” she said.
When asked what she will miss the most, the answer was quick: "My customers, who have become family."