West End Liquor hits 25 yearsWest End Liquor and Fine Cigars has hit its silver anniversary.
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
West End Liquor and Fine Cigars has hit its silver anniversary.
Since 1984 Kip Earney has run the store, first with his in-laws and now with his wife, Cathy.
In that time Earney says he's worked not just to run a successful business but also be a part of the Red Wing community.
He notes the charitable events West End hosts, like a wine tasting last Thursday that raised money for hospice care.
"We feel we're a staple in the community," Earney said.
In 2000 Earney bought his in-laws' half of the business when Jim and Judy Anderson decided to retire. At that point, Cathy Earney began working at the store.
She'd worked in marketing for 10 years prior and her skills translate well, Earney said.
"She's good with customers and sales people and making sure we have the best products in the store."
And that's another important part of West End's success, Earney said — making sure the store is stocked not only with old favorites but also new products customers will want.
"You have to be somewhat on the cutting edge," Earney said.
That might mean hosting events, or ordering a specific wine for a customer that the store doesn't keep in stock.
Earney said the years have gone by fast but he notices that it's been a quarter century when he recognizes customers who he used to — when they were children — give a lollipop to.
"Now they're coming in as 21, 22-year olds," he said.