November 11, 2004 at 8:42 a.m.
Owners Mark and Diane Johnson were able to move the entire contents of the store from its previous location on Park Trl. in Almelund to one-half block south at the intersection of CR 12 and Hwy. 95 Oct. 16 and only shut down operation for a couple of hours.
Diane said the move went smoothly and the new store has had steady business. Mark said even in a traditionally slower time of year, Rod’s has seen an increase in customers. “There’s definitely more visibility here,” he said.
Construction on the new store and gas station started this summer. The store has expanded to include a snack counter that offers hot dogs, brats, nachos, fountain drinks and cappuccino.
Rod’s still offers ice cream, video rental and tanning, but with the larger store, the Johnsons have been able to expand many product areas as well. There is an area with tables and chairs where customers can sit and enjoy their snacks and ice cream. Rod’s also offers the first ATM machine in Almelund.
And of course, Rod’s famous Swedish sausage is for sale at the new store and as popular as ever.
The most noticeable difference between the old store and the new is the fueling stations. Rod’s has three gasoline islands for customers, offering standard octane fuel, diesel and the new E85 fuel made with 85 percent ethanol.
“It’s nice to be able to offer a gas station in Almelund again,” Diane said. It has been more than five years since gasoline was available in Almelund. She said that many of the positive comments they receive at the store are from customers pleased to see a gas station back in the area.
The movie rental area has expanded and Diane plans to offer other items on the snack counter in the future. “We’d like to add maybe a soup kettle and sandwiches,” Diane said. Right now, the owners and employees are just spending time getting used to their new surroundings.
The building itself was designed to look very similar to its predecessor, the old Emporium building. The most recent business in the Emporium was an antique store before the Johnson purchased the property.
The building, which was built in the early 1900s, was not structurally sound so it was razed to make room for a new building.
The new Rod’s Country Corner building was designed with the same sloping roof and natural wood exterior on the front of the building to maintain some of the same look of the old building, Diane said.
Rod’s is now open one hour earlier each day: Monday through Friday hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and pay at the pump is available 24 hours a day.
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