New owner of R&J Liquors in Granby wants to put focus on craft brews, locally distilled spirits
R&J Liquors is located at 88 East Agate Avenue, on Highway 40, in downtown Granby. The store is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. You can reach the store by calling 970-887-2318.
Granby’s R&J Liquors has a new owner with a familiar face.
Ed Raegner, long-time local liquor wholesaler, purchased the popular Granby establishment from its former owners, Bob and JoAnn Anderson, in mid-November.
“I worked as a wholesaler for 16 years,” Raegner said. “Bob was a good customer of mine during that time. I saw this as a great opportunity. I think it is a really good time in Grand County and Granby to invest in local businesses.”
Raegner formally took ownership of the store on Nov. 17. The transition in ownership between the Andersons and Raegner was smooth and the store continued taking customers as the keys were handed over. For his part, the new owner of R&J’s plans to keep the shop much as it has always been with a focus on customer service and hospitality.
“I want to keep the friendly spirit alive that Bob and JoAnn had in the store while adding some new products and lowering prices,” Raegner said. “I consider myself very lucky that most of the employees have decided to stay on with me. It is so hard to find good help.”
Raegner is planning a few modest changes for his new business venture and will be focusing more of the store’s inventory space on Colorado products, from microbrews to locally distilled spirits.
“We put in a craft beer cooler,” Raegner said. “It has been really well received. We are expanding our wine offerings in the store and adding two to three new wines per week.”
Raegner’s many years as a wholesaler make him uniquely poised to take advantage of the industry trends he has seen in Grand County.
“The craft beer scene is huge and it is growing nationally and internationally,” Raegner said. “I think that in Granby there is great interest in craft beer. We put in a 54-inch cooler and filled it with about 30 different microbrews.”
Raegner said he has also seen upward trends in the demand for Colorado distilled spirits.
“We are starting to add a few more of those as well,” he added.
When Raegner purchased R&J Liquors he got out of the wholesale business but he hopes the connections he made in that world, including those with his former competitors, will be a boon to his new business.
“One of the wells of knowledge I hope to use is my former competitors,” he said. “We kind of have a brain trust there and they are my sales people now.”
Originally from Larchmont, N.Y., just outside of New York City, Raegner came to visit a pair of friends living in Grand County over two decades ago and never really left.
“It is kind of a classic Grand County story,” he said. “I came for a season and stayed.”
Raegner lives in Tabernash with his wife and daughter, a sixth grader. He is also one of six members of the East Grand School District’s Board of Education.
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