Serving a town of 700, the Cubby’s Convenience Store in Shelby, Nebraska is a one-stop shop for travelers and locals alike. Whether they’re from the neighboring towns of Osceola and Rising City or travelers from across the country, Cubby’s has the produce, groceries, and other necessities to satisfy all three towns and anyone in between.
Before Chris Cowan came to manage Cubby’s, he gained over seven years of experience in convenience stores and management. Compared to other gas stations, Cowan said, “Cubby’s is quite a bit different than your regular gas station,” because of the bountiful grocery section for customers to pick up fresh produce in a pinch. “We’re the only store like that out there,” said Cowan, “so we have a lot of travelers, a lot of the same people.”
At the beginning of COVID-19, Cowan realized that the store was continuing to have steady business. “After that initial rush of everybody stockpiling, people realized that we were a grocery store and that we have a fresh meat department.”
As more people are shopping local, Cowan has noticed their typical crowd of travelers has given way to regular customers who they see daily. Going into the holiday season, Cowan looks forward to a new challenge of supplying the holiday crowds.
A bonus of shopping at the Cubby’s in Shelby is their one-woman meat department, which is run by Anita Didier. She arrives at 6:00 every morning to clean out the cases and sanitize her workstation for the sake of public health. At the beginning of the pandemic, she was working ten-hour days seven days a week to keep up with demand!
Due to their dedication to their community and tireless customer service, the Cubby’s store at Shelby has been chosen as September’s Store of the Month. Despite being shorthanded during a pandemic, Cowan feels great to know that their efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Cowan’s favorite aspect of the job is the coworkers because, “the people you work with makes you want to come back. We all like to have fun and enjoy coming to work.” This camaraderie is also reflected in the way they serve their community. Cowan explained, “we like to help our local community. I knew Osceola Fire Department was getting a new fire truck, so they called and ordered pizza. When they came to pick it up, we told them we had taken care of the pizza for them.” Cubby’s also donated $800 for a memorial Bench in Shelby, volunteer with the farmer’s market on weekends, and often find other ways of enhancing their customers’ experiences.
For an in-depth view of what Shelby’s crew has going on, be sure to visit their Facebook page. “Our grocery manager has fun with our videos,” said Cowan, where customers can view Cubby’s current events and sales on any given day.