Beloved Verdigris Store Closing Doors For Final Time
VERDIGRIS, Oklahoma - All good things must come to an end, and that is the case with a beloved store along Route 66 in Verdigris.
Customers are saying goodbye to BJ's Pit Stop, where, inside, everyone is on a first-name basis.
“I have my retired guys that come in in the morning and we know exactly what they want,” said owner Kerri Floyd.
Kerri and Jeff Floyd have owned BJ's since 1999 - though the pit stop has been what some call the heart of Verdigris since the early 70s.
Verdigris resident Gabe Sherman said, “It's always been someplace that creates great memories.”
Sherman has been a regular his whole life; and he, like so many others, stop in for the “world famous calzone.
“You really can't beat it,” he said.
Kerri said, “Made from scratch. They love it. People love it.”
While BJ's is known for making a calzone like nobody else, it's the people who work there that have kept folks coming back all these years.
“It's just a really special place here, and Jeff and Kerri have made it very special,” Sherman said.
But now most of the store shelves are empty. And while it wasn't easy, the mom and pop decided to close up shop because of the bigger chain stores opening nearby.
“Their dream was to open many stores, ya know, even when they started, that was the dream,” Jeff said. “Ours was just to own one store and make a good living doing it, so when a chain like that comes in it's just really difficult to compete against them.”
But BJ's has something those big stores never will – Jeff and Kerri behind the counter.
“We've had a great time,” Jeff said. “It's been fun.”
The couple has made their customers feel more like family.
Jeff said, “We're gonna miss everybody.”
And everybody is going to miss them.
Sherman said, “We were heartbroken, of course, but we understand and we're excited about their next phase of life, and, hopefully, it's something that they get to enjoy.”
The Floyds plan to lease the building but don't know yet what type of business will move in. Customers, of course, hope it’s something that will continue the calzone legacy.
The Floyds said they're going to take a few months off to travel and enjoy each other, then, figure out what’s next.
“I'm looking forward to the future and everything we could do and all the opportunities,” Jeff said.
BJ’s will stay open Saturday night as long as they have customers or until they run out of food. The owners are going to shoot off fireworks to celebrate their final night of business.