BY PAUL GNADT
Reposted with permission of the Keene Star
A local book store is adding vegetarian foods to its shelves thanks to an infusion of greens.
The Keene Business Development Corporation, known as the Type B Board, decided Monday afternoon to grant $25,000 to the Texas Adventist Book Center to assist the merger of the ABC Vegetarian Food Center with the ABC.
The City Council must approve the grant when it meets at 7 p.m. Thursday in the council chambers at City Hall.
“We feel confident we can make this work,” said ABC Off Site Sales Manager Jorge Velez, who along with ABC Manager Mickey Johnson made the presentation to the Type B Board.
The money will be used to move items (including two, five-door freezers) from the food center, currently located in Old Betsy Plaza next to Dollar General, to the ABC, a distance of about 100 yards.
The money will also be spent on new shelving, wall-mounted display bins and a portable building to serve as a warehouse, Velez said.
The ABC had total sales of $3,024,852 in 2013 and paid $13,328 in sales tax, Velez said.
The Texas Adventist Conference has assumed ownership of the book center and will be responsible for addition expenses in the move, including new computers, software licenses and software maintenance, Velez said.
The Keene ABC survived the recent closing of numerous Adventist book centers owned by the retail division of Pacific Press Publishing Association of Nampa, Idaho.
The Keene store will serve the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas through mail orders and direct sales at selected events, Johnson said.
As part of the agreement, the book store must maintain performance standards regarding the employment of six full-time personnel and return of sales tax. If the standards are not met within two years, the Texas Conference Association of Seventh-day Adventists must return the grant to the Type B Board, board president Charles Ferrier said.
In addition to Ferrier, board members are Mariaelena Godinez, Susan Meyer, Aaron Moses, Roy Robinson and Ricky Stephens.
The ABC has been managed by Pacific Press since 1996. The food center outlet opened in 2003 in the basement of the old Hour of Prophecy building, then moved to its current location.
The Type B board, formerly called the Keene Community Development Corporation, has previously provided financial assistance to Wash Depot, Parkway Restaurant and Sweet Peppa's Restaurant.