PLATTSBURGH — A long-time North End business has a new owner with plenty of first-hand experience in its day-to-day operation.
Michael Mousseau re-opened K & M Discount Liquor and Wine (formerly L & M) on Sept. 11. Mousseau said he has worked at the business, located at 314 Margaret St in the City of Plattsburgh, since 1985, the year he graduated from Plattsburgh High School.
He bought it from former owner Mickey Serra, who had the business for 16 years until he decided to retire.
“The driving force behind it was the location,” Mousseau said.
Patrons welcome reopening
It is a high-traffic area, at the intersections of Margaret Street, Boynton Avenue, Sailly Avenue and Cumberland Avenue. K & M is also the only liquor and wine shop in the North End of the city, which saves many a trip up Route 3 or to the south end of the city.
A number of customers have told him how pleased they are the store has reopened.
“It’s been an institution on this end of town,” he said. “The response has been tremendous. Everybody loves it.”
The store was closed as Mousseau waited for his liquor license from the New York State Liquor Authority. He sent the application in April and received the license on Aug. 18.
That gave Mousseau and Assistant Manager Corey Morrow time to renovate the store with new wooden wine racks and restained shelves. They also increased the visibility through the windows around the north and west sides of the store.
“We’ve made it much brighter,” Mousseau said. “It’s actually a joy to come to work every day.”
The store presently has a number of Halloween-themed decorations. His fiancee, Kateri Pyke, is in charge of decor.
Her first initial is why the store is now K & M Discount Liquor and Wine.
Once the license was in hand, Mousseau was able to place orders and restock the inventory.
Mousseau said he focuses on value-priced wines, mainly from California but also some foreign vintages. He said $15 and under seems to be the price point preferred by about 80 percent of his wine customers.
Wine making has really advanced in the last 10 years, which has led to higher quality wines at lower prices.
“You can get a good bottle for under $10,” Mousseau said.
Box wines have become increasingly popular. They are extremely convenient as you can get a box, throw it in the refrigerator and it will last for weeks.
On the liquor side, vodka is the big seller, whether it is regular or flavored. Mousseau said vodka outsells all his other products by a four-to-one margin.
He said he prefers tequila, so he’s trying to bring in more premium varieties of that.
“I don’t think that was properly addressed before,” Mousseau said.
He has stayed with what sold well before the change, but said he’s willing to listen to customer requests going forward.
“We want to accommodate as many regulars as possible,” Mousseau said.
K & M offers a 20-percent discount on case sales, whether paid by cash or check. He said that is one of the highest discounts in the area.
Lottery sales will return soon, Mousseau said.
Payment is by cash or credit card. There were too many issues with bad checks to continue to accept those.
K & M Discount Liquor and Wine is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Sunday business has increased every week since he reopened. Mousseau said they also get a lot of Canadian customers, and they seem to be staying in the area later this year.
“That’s good to see, too,” he said.
Mousseau said he really appreciates the store’s long-time customers, especially those who have come back once he reopened.
“That’s what drives the business. They have been very encouraging,” he said. “It’s nice to hear that.”
Email Dan Heathdheath@pressrepublican.com