Passersby on Hwy. 54, going through Bronson, may have noticed the demolition of an old filling station.
The land is owned by K&T Enterprises LLC, Thaddeus and Kelly Perry, owners.
Local entrepreneurs, the Perry’s are in the process of building a general store on the site.
“We have purchased the land, all nine lots, to the edge of the (Bronson) city limits along with the station but have already demolished the station,” Kelly Perry said. “We started working on this project in March of 2019 with Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment doing soil samples, etc., to make sure there were no contaminations on the property from the fuel tanks. Next to go will be the awning and the underground tanks. Then we will be building our new general store and pork rind production plant.”
“We have many requests for EBT and to accept EBT we also have to sell other items such as bread, milk, eggs, etc,” Kelly said.
Kansas Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is the benefit delivery system for public assistance via electronic access to their cash and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, according to its website: http://www.ebtcard.net/state/kansas.html
The proposed general store will provide basic necessities plus small family business goods.
“The general store plans are to have bread, milk, eggs, tea, coffee, soda fountain and can soda as well as other small family goods from the state of Kansas, like Topeka based Stumpy’s Smoked Cheeses, Cashmere Popcorn, and of course in-house-made-fudge that will eventually be sold online as well,” Perry said. “I took a fudge making class to learn how to make old fashioned fudge. We will also have saltwater taffy from Branson MO. Mostly novelty foods. We also plan to have bagged ice and offer odds and ends such as toilet paper soap etc.”
” We hope to have construction up and going by late September,” she said.
“The new facility will have a front covered porch with picnic tables for guests to stop and enjoy,” she said. “We plan to have a large 40×60 ft. building. We plan to have public restrooms and free wifi as well.”
The Kelly’s are known in Bourbon County for their pork rinds.
“We have outgrown our home-based business after working for the last three years,” Kelly said. “Our online sales have increased as the customer base has broadened.”
“We have never received any grants for our business,” she said. “We save and once we have the money we just pay for it in cash.”
Perry’s Pork Rinds is currently having a sale.
“We are running a free shipping special, right now, for Christmas in July,” Kelly said. See their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PerrysPorkRinds
They have marketed themselves by selling at every function, festival and fundraiser they could, she said.
” At one point not having a single weekend off in nine months,” Kelly said. “Now we have a loyal and supportive base and we want to support our home town and the county that has been behind us since the beginning.”
“Our customers are family to us,” Kelly said. “They have been with us since the beginning selflessly sharing posts and buying bags, sometimes to only give away to others, and we not only wanted the store but we wanted it in our own home town.”
“The plan in the back of our mind was to always have our own building,” she said. “We are proud of our customers, employees and ourselves for starting something with little to no money, no generational money backing us, just hard work and dedication.”
“We currently have four full-time employees working 30+ hours a week,” Perry said.
They have some long term goals for their highway property.
“We hope to bring even more jobs to the community and the long term goal is to have RV hookups on the site for hunters, who can bring their game to the Bronson Locker, and folks fishing and enjoying the Kansas Rocks and Recreation as well as any pipeline/windmill employees needing accommodations. The highway frontage should bring in several visitors.”