Many small business start-ups struggle to survive for the first five years, let alone for 50. At 92 years old, Russ Raybould – the original Russ of Russ’s Market – can look back at what he started 50 years ago with a huge sense of pride and accomplishment.
The Small Corner Store
Russ worked his way through college as a grocery store meat cutter. He was making good money and stuck with it, even after graduating from Creighton with a pre-law degree. Russ had his eye on bigger things, and in 1964 he and coworker Clayton Burnett purchased a small neighborhood grocery store at 17 Streets in Lincoln. Both had good jobs with benefits and families to support, and taking on this large amount of debt and responsibility was a big risk. Although the roof of the small 6,000 square foot store leaked like a sleve and the new owners barely had funds to purchase a new sign, they worked hard and focused on keeping the shelves stocked and giving customers good service and quality meats.
In 1974, Russ was ready for another big step. He bought out Burnett’s share of the business and built onto his store – expanding from 6,000 to 14,500 square feet without closing for a minute. The success of that first store led to purchasing a second store at 66th and O streets. In the years that followed, he acquired new stores or built his own in Lincoln and the surrounding communities, including the Super Saver warehouse stores.
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