From left: Rebecca Labrosse, Amanda Wheatley, Kandyce Meili, Jared Schlamp, Cary Wock and Jeremy Mack. Photos by Brian Zinchuk

Local Buzz Liquor Store opens in Estevan, with three oilmen as proprietors

ESTEVAN – Have you heard the buzz? Three oilmen from Estevan thought they’d try something a little different. And now they own a liquor store on Estevan’s main drag.

Cary Wock, Jeremy Mack and Jared Schlamp are the owners of the new Local Buzz Liquor Store, located adjacent to Eddie Websters on Estevan’s 4th Street.

When he’s not farming, Wock is partners with Mack in the ownership of Innovative ALS, a pump shop. It’s their second venture, after previously owning and operating Independent Pump Co. Schlamp is a superintendent for an oil company with operations in the region.

As Wock explained, they were keeping an eye out for the Saskatchewan government sale of its local Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority store in Estevan. But the license, alone, for that that went well north of a million dollars.

However, there was another private liquor store in Estevan that was nearly complete, but never opened due to several issues, the pandemic being a key one. And here was an opportunity to get a building and a license for a more affordable number.

Cary Wock beside their high-end product display, the “top shelf.”

“We needed to expand into other industries, and take different risks,” Wock said on Oct. 6, two says after their opening on Oct. 4.

Schlamp said, “I guess it started with when the SLGA stores started selling out, essentially privatizing. We were looking at the licenses at that point, and that’s when our interests were kind of piqued. And then, after that, when those initial auctions came about, we met with the owner of this, who was looking to sell.”

Mack said he got a text from Wock one night, asking if he wanted to take part in buying it. “We’d been looking for another venture to diversify a little bit,” he said.

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Initially, they were just going to paint the interior. But they ended up going a bit harder on the renovations, according to Wock. “We ripped the flooring out, we ripped the counter out, we built walls, we did everything. The cooler was in here already. The main structure was good.”

Schlamp said, “We’ve got the custom countertop there with the barrels in it.”

There’s also some fresh blacktop in the parking lot.

The drive-thru in on the right.

A notable aspect is the drive thru window. Customers can simply drive up, place an order, and a staff member will go pull it off the shelf. In this manner, it’s not too different from a fast food restaurant.

That goes with the convenience theme of the operation. On weekdays Local Buzz opens at 9 a.m. and the indoor portion is open until 10 p.m., with the drive-thru open until midnight. On Friday and Saturday, the inside stays open until midnight, and the drive through is open until 2 a.m.

So far, beer and mickeys are in demand at the drive-thru.

Wock said they want to serve Estevan. “We’ve all been here and around. We’re all local. We want to be local and support local.”

“We wanted something a little higher end in Estevan. So there’s a little more selection. We’re trying to cater to that. And if we’re missing something, we’re going to write it down and we can easily expand our selection,” Wock said.

But Schlamp added they also have variety for everybody, and a variety of prices, too.

Kandyce Meili is the general manager. She said they have 13 people on staff, not including the owners.

“We’re really proud of our local wall, of local product,” she said.

They also have local craft beers, Wock said.

And right from the get-go, Local Buzz has its own loyalty program called “Buzz Bucks.”

Response have been “really good,” they all said of the opening.

 

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  • 0064 Estevan OTS
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  • 0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
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  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
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