DUNNSTOWN - Local residents will soon be able to buy snacks, cigarettes, lottery tickets and beer ... along with mulch and garden supplies ... at the same convenient location.
"Buy The Yard" and "Buy The Case" will open soon at the former Hilty's Convenience Store property in Dunnstown.
Proprietors Joe Dicello and Tom Myers, who own Bald Eagle Distributors in Lock Haven and Bald Eagle Beer Store in Mill Hall, are starting the new venture.
Dan Galbraith, project manager, cuts off excess rebar while laying logs at the new location of ‘Buy the Yard’.
"It will be on a smaller basis, similar, but much smaller in stature," Dicello said comparing Buy The Case to the stores in Mill Hall and Lock Haven. And it will be open longer hours, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, he said.
"We're looking at people to pick up their beer more in the off-hours, like Sundays and later on Saturdays," Dicello said. added. "We're looking for the river traffic and people coming from the Woolrich-Avis area."
The convenience store will feature soda, chips and other snacks, lottery tickets, cigarettes and ice. No gas will be sold due to a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board law that beer and gas cannot be sold at the same premises.
"The gas tanks have already been pulled out of the ground," Dicello said.
"We want a bright, clean atmosphere ... a location where it is easy in and easy out with longer hours for the customers in Clinton County."
Regarding Buy The Yard, the business Myers purchased from Pete Bates, Myers said they plan to redo the back end of the property with railroad ties dividing the bins of various types of mulch and other garden materials for the general public and commercial enterprises.
"It's going to be planted and landscaped around the back to make it bright and very attractive," he said.
They will sell landscape aggregate, landscape stones, driveway stones, topsoil and, of course, mulch.
"It's for the public ... and we work with local landscapers, too," Myers said. "We want to create a bright, convenient, easy location for the public to come in and have an easy way in and out. There are a lot of people who want mulch, but don't know where to get it or how to pick it up."
Buy The Yard will continue its operations in Mill Hall, near Curt's Smokin' Ribs, until next Thursday or Friday, when the new location in Dunnstown is slated to open. Its hours will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
The convenience store and beer distributor shop will open around July 4, due to a longer process involving the PLCB, Dicello said.
Dicello said his family-owned business was first started by his grandfather in 1942, operating as Tom's Distribution at the current location of Bald Eagle Distributor. He said his son, Michael, is currently studying at Bloomsburg University and hopes to enter the family-owned operation as the fourth-generation owner after he turns 21.
Myers, Dicello said, was looking to get into the beer distribution business in the Allentown area in the 1990s after being a manager in the trucking business
"At that time, my father was in failing health and he wanted out of the business. I saw Tom that weekend and asked him, "What do you think about moving back to Lock Haven and getting into the business here?" Within a few months, he travelled back and forth between there and Lock haven before he finally moved back to Lock Haven
Dicello and Myers then went into partnership in 1996, starting Bald Eagle Distributors Inc. They purchased the license of the former JFK Beer Distributor in Lock Haven from Paul Mahoney in 2001. The two then put that distributor license in escrow before purchasing the former Claster's beer distributorship in 2004.
"It's a family enterprise with the Dicello and Myers family," Myers said.