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R.E. Powell takes over Lower Valley Maid O'Clover stores

R.E. Powell Distributing in Grandview is taking over management of two Maid O'Clover stores, one in Grandview and one in Sunnyside.

Gas was delivered to the two stores last night and is available for purchase today at the businesses, which are under new ownership.

According to Gary Christensen, CEO of R.E. Powell, the company will be purchasing the Grandview convenience store, which is located on Wallace Way, and leasing the Sunnyside Maid O'Clover located at the intersection of Sixteenth Street and Yakima Valley Highway.

Christensen said they have been interested in purchasing the two businesses for the past two years, but haven't been able to close the deal earlier because of the bankruptcy process Maid O'Clover owners have been involved in. He said that the titles of all of the stores being closed had to be cleaned before his deal for the two connvenience stores could be finalized.

The first thing Christensen did when taking over management was supply the pumps with gasoline.

Christensen said that the two stores have been without gasoline on and off for several months. That will no longer be a problem, he said.

As the only gasoline distributor in the Northwest that carries every major brand of gasoline, Christensen said he is unsure of what gasoline lines the two business will carry, but at this time they will remain the same. He added that it is still being determined if the stores will keep the same names. He's more focused on bringing the stores back from their current state.

"We're getting stock in as fast as we possibly can," said Christensen. "Some stock is coming in today and more in the next few days."

He said it will take some time for the stores to brought up to a full staffing, as well. Christensen said both locations are in need of repairs, updating and cleaning, which they plan to make.

"We've been anxious," said Christensen. "The stores haven't been fully operational for a while. We've been anticipating closing on this for close to two months."

Christensen said they have been interested in the two stores because of their close proximity to home.

He said it is easier to run a business that is close to home, but he also added that he sees some big things happening in the Lower Valley with the opening of the Wal-Mart distribution center and other projects.

The bankruptcy of the Maid O'Clover stores benefited R.E. Powell in another way, as well. Christensen said R.E. Powell will now be supplying 12 new stores with gasoline, all of which were once Maid O'Clover's.

. Melissa Dekker can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail mdekker@eaglenewspapers.com

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