Jan Hazelbaker recently announced that she will be passing Delwood Square Liquors on to her daughter and son-in-law
Hazelbaker has owned and operated Delwood Square Liquors in Bailey for the last 16 years, and she has done it with passion, persistence, impeccable customer service and an easy-going style all her own.
Recently, though, due in part to health reasons, Hazelbaker made the difficult decision to turn the business over to her daughter, Dusti Brittenham, and Dusti’s husband, Roman Brittenham.
Former owner Ed Robires hired Hazelbaker in the late-1990s and quickly recognized her knack for customer service and her enthusiasm for the job. In fact, he was so impressed that he decided to groom Hazelbaker to eventually own and manage the store.
That’s exactly what happened, and Hazelbaker’s love for both the store and her customers never waned.
Dusti interviewed her mom Dec. 29 and relayed her responses via email to The Flume:
“Mom said she is happy that the business will be staying in the family, but it also makes her sad because she will miss her customers, sales reps and her employees tremendously,” Brittenham wrote. “She says she has the best employees who have always gone above and beyond for her, so she knows they will take care of all the customers and sales representatives just like she did.”
Hazelbaker’s customers will likely be sad to see her go, too, and will also miss her canine sidekicks, Lilly and Peanut. That dynamic duo, much like their owner, relished their interactions with customers and became a hit with virtually everyone who visited the store.
“Mom said she has wonderful memories over the 20 years she has been at the store,” Brittenham wrote. “She got to be a part of this community and watch customers’ kids grow up; and she was always amazed by how fast the years went by. She loved being consulted to help customers make selections for weddings, holidays and other special occasions. She also loved the affection she received from so many of her customers, and will hold all the special gifts given to her close to her heart.”
In addition to keeping the store in the family, Hazelbaker also takes solace in the fact that longtime employee Marg Emard will remain on board in a managerial role. Area residents will also recognize Emard as a school bus driver.
“Marg has been working at the store since the 1990s as well, and Mom says she knows that Marg will continue to do a fantastic job,” Brittenham wrote.
Hazelbaker also said she loved listening to stories from her customers, as well sales representatives, and loved that they would bring in their dogs to see her. She even had one customer bring in a Macaw to see her, and she thought that was a special treat.
Hazelbaker concluded by saying she has had so many wonderful memories at the store that it would be very difficult to choose just one. She says she is very grateful to have been part of the mountain community, and she knows that the store is in good hands.
The Brittenhams are also both looking forward to the transition.
“Roman and I we are excited for the new challenge and know that we have very big shoes to fill,” Brittenham said. “But we will do our very best to make my mom proud and continue the legacy she started.”
Delwood Square Liquors is located at 60 Bulldogger Lane in Bailey.