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Blowing Rock ABC Store Gives Back Over $150,000 to the Town of Blowing Rock, Law Enforcement and Alcohol Education Grants

By Nathan Ham

Following its annual fiscal year audit, the Blowing Rock ABC Store brought in $2,138,928 from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, and was able to give $140,000 to the Town of Blowing Rock $9,332 to law enforcement and $17,000 in alcohol education grants.

Thanks to increased sales, the Blowing Rock ABC Store was able to give back even more money than usual. An extra $60,000 was given to the town in hopes that part of the funds would be used to fund a Resource Officer position at the Blowing Rock Elementary School.

“This year we gave them $120,000 in profit distributions above and beyond what we usually give them,” said Edith Nations, the store’s general manager. “I think the organization here is a great thing for giving back to the community. We don’t tell them what to use the money for, they can us it for anything. It keeps taxes down for people in the community.”

Nations said that the ABC Commission requires a certain percentage of profits be distributed to the town, so the Blowing Rock store simply decided to give the town more money since all ABC stores are considered non-profit organizations.

The Blowing Rock ABC Store first opened its doors in 1965 and was the first in the area. Nations has been working at the store for almost 20 years as she started in 2001.

“When I first started here, it was probably a $3 million store, then West Jefferson got an ABC store and Boone got liquor by the drink, but we’ve built back up to about $2 million a year now,” said Nations.

The staff at the store takes pride in providing good customer service and providing as many drink options as possible.

“We try to make sure we carry products people want, if someone comes in and we don’t have something and it’s on the list for the state, we try to get it in. We are here for the customers and that’s what we do. You can’t advertise so basically you just have to be nice and do what they want,” said Nations.

The Blowing Rock ABC Board of Directors are Chairperson Susie Greene, Jerry Starnes and Sylvia Tarleton. They all help in their specific roles with the store.

“The board is fabulous. Susie Greene has been such a big help, she has been here for years and she is very supportive and always goes above and beyond. Jerry Starnes is new but he is doing great and Sylvia Tarleton is awesome,” said Nations.

The Blowing Rock ABC Store is located at 7960 Valley Boulevard.

Blowing Rock ABC Store Audit report

From July 1, 2019, until June 30, 2020, this store achieved a gross income of $2,138,928. Of this amount, the following was dispersed:

-$512,105- state excise tax, mixed beverage tax, county surtax and wine sales tax

-$315,764-operating expenses (does not include the purchase of wine and liquor products for future sale)

-$140,000-Town of Blowing Rock

-$9,332-Law Enforcement

-$17,000-Alcohol Education Grants

-$1,069,327-Product Purchases

*Please note that in June 2020 an additional $60,000 was dispersed to the Town of Blowing Rock General Fund with hopes that part of this amount wound be used to fund the Resource Officer at the Blowing Rock Elementary School.

At the September 2020 meeting, grants were awarded for 2020-2021. The grants receiving funding were as follows:

-$4,000 – Alcohol Abuse Education (Watauga County School System)

-$3,000 – Sold Out Youth Ministries

-$5,000 – Club 12, Inc.

-$5,000 – Mountain Alliance

Edith Nations, general manager of the Blowing Rock ABC Store, has worked there since 2001. She is pictured here going through available inventory for the store.