|New owners of Fort Thomas Convenient Mart, Steve and Mike Grote. The wall to the left will separate their business and the new business that has yet to sign a lease. FTM file.|
For the second time in less than a year, the convenient store at 42 N. Fort Thomas Avenue has undergone an ownership change.
Amy Lloyd, owner of Amy's Market, bought the business on August 6, 2015 and sold it to brothers Steve and Mike Grote on Friday, June 10.
The Grotes, who are not related to the locally-famed Grote Bakery family, are originally from the westside of Cincinnati. They both have a business backgrounds. Mike said they found the location in Fort Thomas by luck.
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"We looked at a bunch of locations and stores. This one was unique and it's really about the community," he said.
They are renaming the store Fort Thomas Convenient Mart, but that's not the only change that's occurring.
"We want to be the craft beer location for Fort Thomas. There will be new floors, paint, ceiling and lighting. You'll see the floor done within a month. We don't know what to put in here because we need the community to tell us, so we're going to walk the community and introduce ourselves," said Mike Grote.
You can meet them at the store or during the Fourth of July parade on July 2 in Fort Thomas.
Steve Grote said they already have $10,000 of new inventory in the store and added three new platforms from which the store will be built.
"We will never run out of product, we have already ordered the soft serve ice cream and we are reopening the deli."
He said that the soft serve machine and deli should be operational by Friday, June 17.
Also different will be the size of the store. As first reported on Fort Thomas Matters, The Colonel's Creamery has asked for and was granted building alterations and signage at 42 N. Fort Thomas that would essentially split the store. Instead of having to pay rent for the entire layout, the Grote brothers are now only responsible for 2,200 square feet of the location.
They said they believe that size is much more economically feasible.
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While the deal with The Colonel's Creamery isn't done, construction has started in earnest at the location.
"All we know is that there's a wall going up. If something goes up in that space that draws more folks, great," said Mike Grote.
|The current state of construction at 42 N. Fort Thomas Avenue. The wall to the right is the shared wall that separates the new Fort Thomas Convenient Mart. FTM file.|
Lloyd, who helped the brothers with their with their first purchase order last Friday, said that she'll look at her time in Fort Thomas with mixed emotions.
"I'm sad and excited and now I really don't want to leave. I thought this was going to be something different than it turned out to be. It became a lot," she said. "A weight has been lifted from my shoulders and the last month has been stressful."
Lloyd said that she took a promotion with her other job in the insurance business and that she couldn't make both businesses work, especially with time she had to spend in the car commuting.
"Driving from my house in Adams County to Fairfield to my new job was an hour and forty-five minutes one way and an hour from my house to Fort Thomas," she said.