A longtime local business has reopened under new management, continuing a family legacy.
B&R Market, at the corner of Oakland and Hickory Creek roads in the Trevilians area, closed in April when owners Carol and George Kail decided to retire. The store had been in Carol’s family since 1939, when her father Aubrey Bourne and uncle Archie Ray began operating a grocery and feed business.
The store reopened in October, now under the management of the Kails’ son George and his wife Amy.
“My husband missed it,” said Amy. “It’s what he grew up with. Our daughter was missing it too. I’d left my job at Blue Ridge Shores after 17 years and was missing working ... We thought we’d utilize some of my management and accounting skills to open the store back up.”
Amy is running the store on a day-to-day basis. George works with her in the evenings and on weekends when he’s not serving as the waterworks supervisor at Blue Ridge Shores.
Since the business is staying in the family, not much has changed about it. They still sell sandwiches out of the deli, especially the much-sought-after bologna and cheese sandwich. While the brand of bologna is different, Amy and George are still using the same type of cheddar cheese – “George’s cheese” as it’s called by loyal customers – that his parents used.
There are some changes, though. The store now accepts debit and credit card payments and even has a Facebook page to bring the store into the 21st century.
“We want to keep with the small country store feel, but we’re trying to progress as well,” Amy said.
Word is slowly getting around that the store is open again, with many people finding out simply by driving by and seeing the flashing open sign in the window.
“The community support has been good,” Amy said. “We’ve had a lot of people stop and tell us how grateful they are that we’re open.”
Amy and George have plans to grow the store in the months and years to come, including adding breakfast items for sale through the deli and offering lottery games. For now, though, they’re focused on reestablishing the business in the community.
“We want to get in here and make sure we can be self-supporting,” Amy said.