Tractor Supply Co. opens
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Oct 9, 2013, 15:01
BLAKE BELDEN/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT The Prince George community joined together to celebrate the grand opening of the new Tractor Supply Co.
PRINCE GEORGE — Surrounded by his employees, family and the community, store manager Al Konwerski cut the red ribbon to cheerful applause outside of the newly opened Tractor Supply Co. on Saturday morning to commemorate new beginnings and initiate a relationship with customers that he hopes goes far beyond the retail surface.
“I really hope that we actually are a more community-oriented store. Our customers that are here live by our values and our ethics. Our hope is that we can be a part of the community and that they see us more than just a retail store, but we actually do care about this community,” Konwerski said.
To support his claims, Konwerski helped raise donations to fund a William Walton Elementary field trip to the nearby tractor museum. He said that an approximate $500 had been raised prior to the actual ribbon-cutting ceremony, a number he hoped to increase substantially by the end of the day to provide those kids an opportunity not readily available by the school’s funds.
The new facility, located at 8175 Wagner Way, down the street from the elementary school, boasts a 19,097-square-foot building with a 15,000-square-foot outdoor display area.
Because the community is richly populated by farmers and ranchers as well as horse, cattle, pig and pet owners, Konwerski believes this store fulfills a great niche.
“Our store really promotes the lifestyle out here. It promotes the people that live on their land and that raise their chickens, that feed off of their land. Those are our customers, and those are the type of customers that we hire,” he said.
Konwerski, who used to manage a Tractor Supply store in Suffolk, said that it was an easy decision to move to Prince George.
“They asked me if I wouldn’t mind coming here and opening in Prince George. When they said that, it didn’t take but one second to say yes. No doubt. I have a lot of friends here. ... I love this area,” he said.
Offering a 10 percent discount on total purchases Saturday, shelves, aisles and walls were lined with a vast array of products including farming equipment, boots, pants, dog food, fireproof safes, tiger saws, chain saws, and many other various supplies.
At the front of the store, customers were given a chance to sign up and put their names in a lottery for prizes such as free gift certificates, a log splitter or a chainsaw.
One customer, who was perusing through what the store had to offer, said that the Tractor Supply Co. “is a good fit for the community.”
Dwight, who has worked with Tractor Supply for a little over a month, said that it felt “very good to be open” before rushing off to help out a customer in need.
BLAKE BELDEN/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Local law enforcement were providing child fingerprinting services, and seen here is store manager Al Konwerski with his daughter.
Several members of the Prince George Board of Supervisors showed up to celebrate the store’s grand opening, as well as local law enforcement officers who were promoting child safety and identification awareness by providing fingerprinting services, Cub Scouts Pack 902, the Petersburg Animal Welfare Society and Forever Wild, a volunteer care program for orphaned and/or injured Virginia wildlife.