C&R Supermarkets bought by Nebraska grocery store chain, but customers shouldn’t see much change

C&R Market in Monroe City

This C&R Supermarket in Monroe City is one of 10 supermarkets recently sold to B&R Market of Lincoln, Neb. | Submitted photo

MACON, Mo. — A chain of grocery stores in northeast and central Missouri now is under new management, but customers shouldn’t notice much of a change.

Mark Nelson, a human resources executive with C&R Supermarkets, said an agreement to sell 10 grocery stores was made “about a month ago” with B&R Stores of Lincoln, Neb. 

C&R Supermarkets has stores in Shelbina, Macon, Monroe City, Edina, Kahoka, California, Fayette, Boonville, Fulton and Slater, with the corporate office in Macon. Nelson has been involved with the ownership of C&R Supermarkets for 41 years and has worked for the chain for more than 50 years.

“I’m close to retirement age, and I have a brand new grandchild, my first,” Nelson said. “I was contacted by B&R Stores. They were interested to talk about purchasing our business, and after the first conversation, it seemed like this was a pretty good match to consider moving forward. They were interested in buying the complete company, and they want the team together as much as possible.

“This is a good fit. A good match.”

The first C&R Supermarket was opened in 1957 in La Plata by Holland Clem and Richard Ramsey. The company eventually grew to as many as 15 stores.

The Palmyra store was closed in October 2016 because of “economic conditions.” Other stores recently closed were in Centralia and LaPlata.

“A small business in any small town is a true challenge,” Nelson said. “With everything that’s gone on with the current labor issues everywhere and the transition of dealing with supply chain issues, it’s just been a real challenge for any small business. These communities do a great job of supporting their local businesses. Some, not so much. 

“My recommendation is if you want to keep a business in your town, please try and support it the best you can. Because one of these days, you may not have one. They need support, even though they may not be able to provide services at a price similar to some of the big box stores.  If you don’t support it, you may lose it.”

B&R Stores, Inc., was founded in 1964 by Russ Raybould and Clayton Burnett. The company operates in multiple cities across Nebraska and western Iowa, employing more than 2,000 people — nearly 1,000 of which are employee owners. When Russ Raybould retired in 1997, he turned to his son, Pat Raybould, to lead the company. Pat Raybould continues to serve as CEO of B&R Stores, Inc.

Nelson says the name of the stores won’t change.

“The stores will stay the same as C&R Supermarkets going forward,” Nelson said. “They’re a larger company and more aggressive, but other than that, the stories are all the same. The customer probably won’t see much of a change, truthfully.”

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