T-Bone Truck Stop is coming to Duncan | Local

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The T-Bone Truck Stop in Columbus has been part of the Lehr family for over 20 years and that legacy recently extended to Duncan.

The Lehrs acquired Aj’s C Store in Duncan a few months ago – now also known as T-Bone Truck Stop – and, according to Nikki Lehr, things are going well.

Nikki Lehr is heavily involved at the T-Bone Truck Stop, along with several other members of the Lehr family. She and owner Lance Lehr talked about acquiring Aj’s C store, 930 Lincoln Hwy, for several months after the previous store owner passed away.

The expansion to Duncan seemed like a step in the right direction with the family’s previous experience owning and operating the Columbus truck stop, Nikki Lehr noted. The Columbus location, which is located off Highway 30, is also a few miles from Duncan.

“The most important thing is that it wasn’t just a brand new start for us. It’s something we already know,” Lehr said, noting things like market prices and suppliers.

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After the Duncan store was acquired, many cosmetic changes were made, including new flooring, a paint job, and restroom renovations.

“It’s made a big difference when you first come in and have been going for 10 years,” Lehr said.

The fuel pumps remain the same – for now, at least.

“It’s something I would like to update,” she added. “It’s a very big project. I was just thinking about making the cosmetic things simple for now.

While the Columbus location is more of a full-fledged truck stop, Duncan’s store is to remain on a smaller scale. But, Lehr said, there’s plenty of land if they choose to add to the business.

Visitors to the Duncan store will also notice a greater selection of in-stock items.

“We have a nice grocery items section,” Lehr said. “It’s something they didn’t really have before, which I think is super cool considering it’s the only store in town.”

Duncan Village Board Chairman Jeff Oppliger said the selection of grocery stores is helpful when residents are looking for something, especially if they don’t want to drive out of town. He added that the store looked good after the renovation.

“They invest in business, they invest in community and we really appreciate what she does,” Oppliger said.

“A lot of residents have been loyal to this convenience store over the years and she’s taken that loyal clientele and built on it by getting more people to come in. I have a feeling they’re going to continue to expand what they offer at the convenience store.

T-Bone Truck Stop has truly been a family affair, Lehr noted, with all family members involved in the renovation.

“Everyone works together – some of us painted, others moved all the material,” she said. “That’s really an advantage that we’ve always had is that we kind of have a lot of family help.”

The acquisition of the convenience store also came with about five new employees, Lehr said.

“All of them helped during the renovation. I mean two of them came to the store (Columbus) right away and started working (Columbus). Then the other three… they helped clean up the new store” , she said.

“It was also a real advantage because they already knew the atmosphere, the people, the customers and all that. So that was a huge asset, having your employee base already in that store.

Lehr said the ownership transition went smoothly.

“We’ve never had more than one store here, so adding this new segment was a bit daunting. But I would say it has been a really good change for us,” she said.

Lehr noted Duncan’s united feel.

“Everyone who goes there, they are the same neighbors and everyone knows each other. I like this atmosphere. It’s a good addition to our roster here,” she said.

Hannah Schrodt is the editor of the Columbus Telegram. Contact her by email at [email protected]

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