Same name with a different owner
The country store in Oakley has a new owner but not a new name.
"I want to keep the name Ken’s Kash as long as I live," said Sandy resident Larry Devey, the new owner of the shop at 980 W. Center Street in Oakley. "When I first talked to Ken, I told him I won’t change anything. I fell in love with the one-horse town and I want to keep it the one-horse town."
Devey purchased his business from Summit County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme, who bought the store from Oakley resident Leo Frazier July 15, 1971.
"I had it exactly 37 years to the day," Woolstenhulme said. "Larry took over on the 15th of July and that’s when I bought the store."
In one of his first encounters with Woolstenhulme about 10 years ago, Devey, who owns a Pine Mountain cabin east of Oakley, offered to buy Ken’s Kash.
"The first time we met Ken, we said, ‘Hey, any time you want to sell this, you let us know,’" said Devey, who operates the store with his wife. "Every time we came in, we said pretty much the same thing."
Woolstenhulme wasn’t sure Devey was sincere.
"I think it’s going to work out all right," Woolstenhulme said.
But he’ll miss his customers, he stressed.
"That was the hard part," Woolstenhulme said. "What you miss most are the people that you run into every day, not being in the store, you don’t see them and that leaves a void in your life."
Woolstenhulme, who is nearly 80 years old, wasn’t able to run the store alone after having gallbladder surgery in the spring.
"What jumpstarted the sale was Zane moving to Logan," Woolstenhulme said about his oldest son Zane Woolstenhulme, who left the area July 1 to start a job in Cache County. "He helped a whole bunch. We were just kind of partners the last few years."
When he was the Oakley postmaster in the 1970s, the post office was in the grocery store, Woolstenhulme explained.
Woolstenhulme enjoyed early-morning meat cutting at Ken’s Kash and still might occasionally fill in as butcher.
"I’ll still be here to help him if he needs to call on me," Woolstenhulme said, adding that Devey has "already made changes that have made it better that I hadn’t thought of."
His inventory will continue to expand, Devey said, adding that Woolstenhulme stocked mostly Western Family items.
"If they want to come and get a Nabisco Triscuit or rosemary and olive oil, they can now. What I bring to the community is experience, modernization, merchandising and variety," Devey said. "If they want to get Chips Ahoy chocolate cookies, they can get that now."
After a career in retail at Smith’s Food and Drug, Devey said he will now run his own grocery full time.
"We knew we could really have a big kick with this thing, that we could really have a blast with it," said the 47-year-old, who declined to comment about the store’s purchase price. "It was a dream come true."
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