Beverage SuperStore of Grayson Serves its Customers and Community

By Kim Hill

Don’t let its early 1900s general store appearance fool you: the 15,000 square foot Beverage SuperStore of Grayson, offering an attractive array of spirits, wine, and beer, is Gwinnett’s largest and most modern structure. The building was intentionally designed to represent an era where product selection and customer service were paramount, qualities this business exemplifies in its day-to-day operations. Like similar establishments of yesteryear, Beverage SuperStore is also community driven, participating in local events and contributing to many area non-profits and charitable causes. It was recently voted a “Best of Gwinnett” winner.

The driving force behind this thriving business is owner Richard Tucker, who himself is the personification of community involvement. In his wide-reaching business career, Tucker’s accolades are many. He has served as president/CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, where he was elected Chairman in 2005. Appointed by Governors Sonny Purdue and Nathan Deal to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, Tucker is now in his fourteenth year of service, including serving as Chairman of the Board of Regents in 2008-2009. Tucker also serves on many local boards such as Georgia Gwinnett College Board of Trustees, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, and Gwinnett Medical Foundation, and has been on the Gwinnett Convention & Visitors Bureau for almost twenty-five years. He has been recognized as one of Georgia’s 100 Most Influential Leaders by Georgia Trend Magazine, and has been consistently selected as one of Gwinnett County’s most influential leaders by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“My whole life, whether deliberately or inadvertently, I’ve found myself in leadership positions,” says Tucker. “I’m very vocal about things and am always wanting the group to succeed, whether it’s a sports team or a school club or a student government. As I was growing up, I always wanted to be involved and take a leadership role where it was appropriate. I’ve been fortunate to be in the right place. I grew up in a great small-town community in DeKalb County, went to the University of Georgia, and I’ve been in Gwinnett since 1972 when I graduated. My whole career has been here and I’ve been involved in the community in whatever shape or form or fashion it took.” Tucker says the chamber of commerce and what it does is a very important and integral part of any community, but it is especially so in Gwinnett as its board members are the same people who populate all the other civic and charitable clubs and causes. “I’ve just been involved with it all these years, and really it’s second nature. It’s like anything else – if you’ve got a job to be done and a task to be accomplished, you want people who are willing and able to get that done. And if I’m one of those, so be it, and if I have to lead from the rear of the line, that’s fine too!” He is currently leading the expansion of the Gwinnett Infinite Energy Center. 

Tucker has owned five other stores in his almost thirty years of owning and operating beverage stores, but he says with Grayson it was different because his mother was born and raised there. Grayson had never had a beverage store, so when there was a referendum and it became obvious they were going to put a store there, Tucker competed with others for the license. He says the store is now probably the biggest taxpayer in the city of Grayson. Of community support, Tucker says, “We have done that in our other stores too – that is not something that’s unique to Grayson, but when we came here I said we are going to be good corporate citizens. We’ve always had an interest of what is good for our community. We just try to give back. We like to utilize some of the profits for the good for others.”

Some of the charities that Tucker and the Beverage SuperStore support include Grayson Cluster School Foundation, Gwinnett Hospital Foundation, American Cancer Society, Hi Hope Center, Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia, the American Heart Association, and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Community festivals like Grayson Days, Gimme Shelter Benefit Concert, Grayson Blues & Brews, Gwinnett Beer Fest, and Suwanee WineFest are also benefitted by the store.

Customers of the Beverage SuperStore receive some benefits of their own. In addition to excellent selection, pricing, and customer service, the package store offers the only area tasting room which allows customers to sample its wares. The Tasting Room is open on Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Appetizers are served, and both beer and wine lovers can be appeased as the latest in craft beers and fine wines from around the world are offered on alternating weeks. A schedule of offerings can be found on the store’s website.

Tucker says he is just a fortunate person who has experienced good things. He feels the successes he has had in his life are a combination of being in the right place – Gwinnett County – at the right time, with the last 40+ years, surrounded by the right people. “I’ve had a lot of help along the way, so I’m trying to return the favor to help people where I can because a lot of people have helped me and helped my businesses. People are what make the community. Gwinnett has a lot of great ones, and many have helped me.”

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