In May of 1964 Russ Raybould and Clayton Burnett purchased a grocery store at 17th and Washington streets in Lincoln. It was the first B&R Store, a cornerstone of the neighborhood, and a cornerstone of what would become a foundation of the
Lincoln community. Eventually Russ purchased his partner’s share of the business and the store was renamed Russ’s Market. Beginning in the late 1970s, the company expanded in Lincoln and later added the Super Saver brand which includes stores in Nebraska and Iowa. Today B&R Stores operates six Russ’s Market stores in Lincoln and one in Hastings.
Early on, Russ’s Market leaders and associates made it a priority to help local organizations working to improve Lincoln.“From the start, Russ’s Market was more than a place to buy groceries. We wanted to serve our customers by helping worthy causes in our city,” said Pat Raybould, president of B&R Stores. “As our business has grown, so has our commitment to our community.”
The organizations helped by the people of Russ’s Market are too numerous to list. For some, the help comes in the form of fundraising events such as the Lincoln Wine and Food Experience that benefits the Lincoln Community Playhouse. The event has raised more than $200,000 for educational programs and productions over the last six years. Other organizations, such as Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters, count on the Russ’s Market community for volunteers and financial support. B&R Stores consistently ranks among the top local businesses for participating in the annual American Heart Association Heart Walk. The Food Bank of Lincoln depends on donations of food as well as special promotions and events to raise money and awareness for the work they do to feed the hungry in southeast Nebraska. Countless other community groups have been helped in smaller ways by their local Russ’s Market.
Today, as Russ’s Market celebrates its 50th Anniversary, the company has taken another step to build on the foundation of service to the community with the Russ’s Community Rewards program. The program provides discounts on fuel and other items, similar to other customer loyalty programs. But the key difference is that it offers loyal customers an opportunity to partner with Russ’s Market to support local community improvement organizations in Lincoln and Hastings.
The concept is simple. Customers use their community rewards card to earn points with each purchase. Those points equate to a dollar amount that’s matched by Russ’s Market and donated to one of the partner organizations. The organizations fall into four categories: helping people, developing youth, protecting animals, and promoting culture. Participants choose the organization they want to help. For example, 5,000 customer points, matched by 5,000 points from Russ’s, would sponsor a tutoring session for a child at City Impact. A similar donation would be enough to sponsor the Voices of Hope crisis line for 24 hours. In Lincoln, customers can choose to donate points to 16 different organizations that are Russ’s Community Rewards partners. The specific partner groups may change periodically to allow the program to help the city in different ways.
“We believe the Russ’s Community Rewards program goes beyond just making a donation to an organization,” said Raybould. “It’s a way to create a connection between Russ’s, our customers and those groups that make Lincoln a special place. Together we can build on the Russ’s Market tradition of community involvement that started 50 years ago.”
Russ’s Market will celebrate its golden anniversary with a commemorative ribbon cutting at the Russ’s Market at 17th and Washington on May 14. Stores in Lincoln and Hastings will also host customer appreciation events throughout that week.
Stop In Today!
17th & Washington – 402-477-1238
70th & Van Dorn – 402-483-0044
66th & O – 402-466-8111
33rd & Hwy 2 – 402-420-1414
63rd & Havelock – 402-464-5804
Coddington & West A – 402-477-6236
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