A letter from the co-owner of a Bristol Street liquor store — who is opposed to a liquor license for a Sun Prairie gas station and convenience store — left a few officials scratching their heads at city hall.
A Jan. 3 letter from Brad Stroud of Good Spirits was read into the record of the Sun Prairie City Council’s Jan. 7 meeting.
Stroud wrote in opposition to what he heard was a proposed liquor license for the BP Stop ‘n Go at 9 Tower Drive.
“I want to clarify, I understand the nature of business and am not against competition in my marketplace provided that competition is fair in nature,” Stroud wrote. “In this specific situation I don’t feel this would be the case.”
The letter points out his small, privately owned store does not have the financial resources “to compete on a bulk buying market with a corporation such as BP, so our prices simply cannot be competitive.”
Stroud also complained in the letter that “there seems to be a progression of promoting the influx of larger corporate-run businesses” in Sun Prairie.
“While I understand the need for expansion, I feel it has been to the detriment of many small businesses in town,” Stroud wrote in the letter. “You only need to drive down Main Street to illustrate my point. How many vacant pieces of commercial real estate are there? How many retail stores/other businesses have shut their doors here in town? Not through any fault of their own or mismanagement. They simply cannot compete with the Targets, Woodman’s, Walmarts of their specific industries. We will be facing a similar situation if the license for BP is approved. We have an employee base of five people who would also be put out of work. Adding a liquor license to an already profitable [convenience] store will not add anymore job opportunities in the city. It will add money to pockets that are already well lined,” Stroud wrote.
Stroud asked the council to consider the store’s “history of responsible sales of alcohol here within the city,” pointing out the store is “diligent about not selling to minors, never required a police presence and have maintained a clean, tidy storefront for the last four years.”
Stroud wrote that a family-owned and operated store “leads to a greater level of caring and accountability, thus, providing a letter level of service and more stringent observance of local laws and responsible sales.”
The store does not sell tobacco products, lottery tickets or other “assorted merchandise,” Stroud wrote in the letter. “We sell alcohol and try to do it well, with respect to and responsibility for our clientele and the community. Please allow us to continue to do this.”
Mayor Paul Esser read the letter into the official record of the Jan. 7 council meeting without any comment.
Good Spirits is located at 114 N. Bristol St. in a multi-tenant storefront with Cassoulet near the corner of Klubertanz Drive and Bristol Street.
The Stop’n Go located at 9 Tower Drive is located on the other side of the Bristol Street-Highway 151 ramp from Good Spirits.
“No, I have nothing from them . . . I’m not sure where he’s getting the idea they want alcohol,” Deputy City Clerk Arrin Linzenmeyer wrote in an email last week when asked about the source of Stroud’s information. There has been no inquiries about the requirements for obtaining a license there, Linzenmeyer said.
The store at 9 Tower Drive has an adjacent tenant, Jimmy John’s sub shop, while Sun Prairie’s other Stop’n Go store at the corner of Broadway Drive and Windsor Street has a vacant adjacent tenant space where Jacobson’s Deli was located. A third tenant space at the Broadway-Windsor Stop’n Go is occupied by Summit Credit Union.