New local convenience store to open in August

Jul 10th, 2017 | By | Category: Featured
Shannon Guthrie, the general manager for the revitalized Country Corner gas station on Bannock Highway south of Pocatello, stands in front of the store. The business, now named Guthrie’s Country Corner, is set to open in the first week of August. Shelbie Harris/Idaho State Journal

Shannon Guthrie, the general manager for the revitalized Country Corner gas station on Bannock Highway south of Pocatello, stands in front of the store. The business, now named Guthrie’s Country Corner, is set to open in the first week of August.
Shelbie Harris/Idaho State Journal

By Shelbie Harris
sharris@journalnet.com

POCATELLO — Last week, as distributors unpacked boxes and lined shelves inside Guthrie’s Country Corner gas station on Bannock Highway just south of Pocatello, General Manager Shannon Guthrie lined the windows with brown paper to help disguise the quick stop from eager patrons.

While the building had sat vacant for years, it now has a newly sealed parking lot and a fresh layer of paint both inside and out. But Guthrie said she is still a few weeks away from opening shop.

“One day I went to work and my dad asked me how I felt about a gas station,” Guthrie said about the decision to bring the gas station back to life. “I told him, ‘Well that’s never really been a dream of mine,’ but two weeks later I came back to work and he said, ‘Hey, I bought you that gas station.’”

Guthrie and her family, who also own an industrial insulation company in Pocatello, bought the gas station in March. So far, Guthrie said logistical tasks — including paperwork and filing for licenses— has far outweighed the physical work, such as cleaning and replacing outdated countertops and light fixtures.

“When you walk in to the gas station to get a soda pop you don’t really think about what it takes to start a gas station,” Guthrie said.

In addition to offering gas, snacks and the supplies typical of most traditional convenience stores, Guthrie said she also wants to bring back a gift shop area that previous owners had said was successful.

Also, Guthrie said she wants to offer local patrons a closer alternative for higher-end wine so that people won’t have to drive into town.

“Eventually, we want to figure out what will be best for the community,” she said. “We don’t want to jump into a million things beforehand.”

Over the past several years, the gas station has had several owners. But when asked about potential concerns such as location and foot traffic, Guthrie touted the financial support from the insulation company as something that will help keep progress running smoothly as she gets things off the ground.

“I understand everybody has their concerns and I get where they are coming from because a lot of people have told us that it might be a deathtrap out here,” Guthrie said. “But we are really blessed with our other company, which has been extremely successful so we already have that backing. We can put the money into it and take the time to do it right as opposed to rushing through things as if someone had put all their money into it and needed a paycheck in order to eat dinner.”

In terms of making a profit, Guthrie said patience is key, adding that rather than worrying about turning a profit, her biggest concern is getting to know the community and becoming a friendly neighbor.

“We understand that it’s not going to make us money overnight and that’s what other people are thinking based off the stories that I’ve heard,” Guthrie said. “I’m learning how to be a people person so I’m excited to get to know what the community will want because I’m a little hometown girl who comes from McCammon where you can go to the grocery store and order something and it will show up two days later.”

She continued, “Mostly, I’m just excited to have a store here in the neighborhood because I think the people will really like it.”

Slated to open the first week of August, Guthrie said an official grand opening is planned in mid-August with additional deals or special announcements likely to come in the next few weeks.

“I’ve never ran a gas station before so I’m super nervous about that,” she said. “If it fails it’s on me. It’s high stress, but I know I will be more excited once the doors open.”

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