Akins Grocery and Feed
Owner: Brock Demarre
Location: Akins, Okla.
Business: Akins Grocery and Feed
History: “There used to be a post office and a grocery store here, but now my Akins’ Grocery and Feed is all there is. The business has existed since the late 1930s or early 1940s.” Brock Demarre said. “I was going to school for a degree in business at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant when the man who owned the store wanted to simplify his overly busy life. I have been in business for two years now.”
Products and Services: “The heart of the business is agriculturally based. I offered Nutrena feeds of all kinds, including 250-pound protein lick tubs, and I support my feed business customers by delivering when requested. I have affordable dog and cat food, as well as alfalfa pellets, which are usually used for horses, goats or sheep. I carry basic medicines such as cattle wormer, penicillin, five in one vaccine and dog flea and tick prevention and treatment. In addition, I sell propane cylinders commonly used for heaters, gas grills and water heaters as well as posts for fencing. This is the local hangout so I found an opportunity to add value to the business through the addition of an informal restaurant of sorts. The guys who hang out in the morning have eggs and bacon, or steak and toast, in addition to coffee and solving the world’s problems. I serve lunch which includes ribs, brisket and beans and have both a carryout business and a barbecue catering business, which customers use about once a month. The grocery part is an extended convenience store including some fresh cold cuts.
Philosophy and future: “I have lived here all my life and already have a personal relationship with all of my customers, but to be successful I have to maintain and enhance that relationship, as well as be flexible and creative in meeting their needs, which is where the restaurant and catering businesses come in. My goal is to have this place paid for in 10 years, and I am doing whatever I can to make that happen.”