Maybell Store under new management |

Maybell Store under new management

Janelle O'Dea
Maybell store owner Mary Schminkey renews Wisconsin hunter Mark Langer's archery license.
Janelle O’Dea

Moving mayonnaise from one shelf to another in her store didn’t seem like a big deal to Mary Schminkey.

But she learned quickly that Maybell residents wanted the mayonnaise to stay in one place.

“I had a customer ask me, ‘where’s the mayonnaise?’ and when I showed her, she said, ‘but the mayonnaise has been over here for 20 years,’ so they’re adjusting to me moving the mayonnaise,” Mary said with a smile.

Mary, 54, and her husband Joe Schminkey, 55, have lived in Maybell since 2007, when they moved from Hayden. Mary and Joe hold the Maybell community close to their hearts and took over the store on Aug. 1.

“We’re small, but we’re mighty,” Mary said.

Mary used to work at Craig’s MJK Sales & Feed, Inc. and said she decided to buy the Maybell Store because she was tired of commuting, among other reasons.

“I didn’t feel as much a part of the Craig community when I was commuting,” she said. “And I’ve always loved the (Maybell) store.”

Mary worked for the store’s previous owner, Lynn Haskins. Mary’s parents also owned a grocery store in her home state of Iowa.

The Schminkeys aren’t changing much about the Maybell store, open since 1933, except moving product around and changing the name to “Maybell General Store.”

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” Joe said.

They’re also offering Maybell locals a discount.

“You have to charge higher out here, so I want them (locals) to know I appreciate that they’re buying what they can out here,” Mary said.

Moffat County commissioners approved and transferred the store’s liquor license last week.

The Maybell General Store can only sell beer as a part of Colorado’s 3.2 percent liquor licensing law. Maybell’s elementary school is within 500 feet of the store, so they cannot sell anything harder than 3.2 percent beer.

Mary said the store has three markets to serve: the locals, the travelers and the hunters. The latter bring a lot of business and volume into the store, often times to take advantage of the store’s hunting/fishing license renewal services.

Gas stations are few and far between on U.S. Route 40. Mary and Joe said Haskins upgraded the gas pumps outside of the store to serve customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even if the store isn’t open.

If hunters or other travelers break down, they call the store. A coffee club meets in the store almost every morning. Joe said people call with general questions about the area, too.

“You even have people call from Steamboat Springs to ask about the weather, and what it’s like in the Sand Wash Basin to see if they can come out and play,” he said.

“It’s a hub,” Mary said. “We’re just trying to meet the needs of locals and fill that gap for them.”

Mary wants to bring the Maybell community closer together and wants to unite regular customers by creating a Facebook page, a project she plans to work on this winter.

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