Sam Scofield is the general manager of Leavenworth County Cooperative Assoction.
1. The Leavenworth County Cooperative Association is going to celebrate 50 years of service to the community today and tomorrow. What do you have planned for the celebration?
We are having two days of celebration planned. Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, Cookout and drawings for customers that would like to join us.
2. Sam can you tell us about the coop's beginnings and how different it was to open a business in 1963 compared to now? What services did you start out offering?
Fifty years ago, our business, Leavenworth County Cooperative Association was formed by farmers and producers from Leavenworth County. A parcel of land was purchased at our present location, 1205 North Main in Lansing. The business was started with a small service station and a handful of employees. Later a fuel delivery truck was added for bulk fuel delivery, and the business grew to its present size today. We currently have 30 full- and part-time employees, and offer many services including bulk fuel, propane, feed, c-store, fertilizer and chemicals, and dog grooming.
3. The coop provides many services for the community, including gas pumps, bulk seed, chemicals, fertilizer service, pet grooming and a cafe. Is it challenging to manage all of these services? What other products and services does the coop specialize in and do you plan to add more?
We have a diverse customer and patron base, from small to large, town to country, and young to old. Our challenge has evolved from one of a small business concentrating on one business segment with little competition, to now, one that provides many varied services and products to a wide array of customers. We are one of the few cooperatives in Kansas that has remained at the same location for 50 years. Our cooperative, once on the edge of town is now surrounded by a magnitude of businesses, many serving the same customers. Our business neighbors provide good competition for our business.
Our core business consists of fertilizer, seed, chemical, fuel, and propane. As a coop, we pride ourselves on providing our patrons the products and services that meet their expectations.
4. What is your secret to running a successful business for five decades in the Lansing/Leavenworth community?
Our business success is driven by our patrons that demand great service and products, and a group of employees that meet our patrons' needs. Our patrons, most of whom live and do business in Leavenworth County, have been loyal over the past 50 years.
5. Are you ready for the next 50 years?
As over the first 50 years, our business has changed and grown with the times, not without lessons learned along the way. I am certain the next 50 years will provide many challenges and learning experiences.
Page 2 of 2 - We are thankful for having the opportunity of providing products and services to our patrons and customers for the last 50 years, and look forward to serving and meeting their needs in the future.
— Rimsie McConiga