By CASSIE MCKEE, Four Points News
After Adam Weedman sold his Austin-based software company last year, the Glenlake resident decided it was time for a change. His longtime friend and colleague, James Goldsworth, who lives in River Place and had previously worked for Weedman, also wanted a change.
“When I left the business, I pretty much decided I wasn’t going to work for anybody,” Goldsworth said. “That was my big driver.”
The two childhood friends have known each other since elementary school, growing up in Iowa. They knew they both wanted to do something that allowed them to stay closer to home. Coincidentally, while brainstorming ideas for what to do next, the two independently had the same idea – buy a 7-Eleven franchise, and not just one franchise but ultimately at least five.
“We’re just small town guys, we like the neighborhood feel, we like seeing people we know every day,” Weedman said.
After doing some research, they decided to go for it. They completed the paperwork and closed on their first 7-Eleven at Four Points in December.
After a complete store renovation and a bit of a learning curve for the new owners, they showcased their new store with a grand opening on Friday at 7004 RM 620 N, at the intersection of RM 620 and RM 2222. The grand opening featured 25 cent hot dogs, Slurpees and coffee, $4 pizzas, scratch-off games and give-away prizes.
The best part of their new venture is proximity. It’s just minutes from home, allowing them both to be close to family. Weedman and his wife, Kara Weedman, have three children who all attend school locally. Goldsworth and his wife, Patty, have a four-year-old daughter who is about to start kindergarten. Patty also works in Four Points at Scott Felder Homes.
“We were just joking this morning, I was saying, ‘Do you know how much money I save driving three minutes to work every day? I fill my car up every week and a half,’” Weedman said. “I’ve lost 17 pounds since I started working here because I’m not going out for 1,000-calorie lunches like I used to when we were in the software business.”
Previously a Speedy Stop store, the site was purchased by 7-Eleven Inc. about a year ago, when 7-Eleven purchased every Speedy Stop, Exxon Tiger Market and Chevron Tetco in Austin, almost 100 stores in Central Texas, Weedman said. Over the last year, 7-Eleven has been converting all the stores over and franchising them.
Weedman said the store is much more than just a convenience store. It also features its own taqueria inside that makes fresh fajitas by the pound served on fresh flour tortillas. Everything is made fresh in the store. They also serve pizzas, hamburgers, rotisserie chicken and sandwiches. The store also has a wine and craft beer selection and coffee bar.
“We’re catering to the local community as we ask them what they want and they tell us,” Weedman said. “We can pretty much get anything as long as it sells.”
He said the Four Points 7-Eleven is one of the busiest stores in the state, with more than 5,000 cars driving by each day. Weedman and Goldsworth have both put in a lot of hours to learn the business and make sure everything is running smoothly.
“I remember that first week we were here 15-16 hours a day,” Goldsworth said.
They are already making plans to buy their second store, which they hope to have completed within the next 90 days. Weedman said their goal is to buy at least five stores.
Their goal is to ultimately build a team of nearly 100 employees between multiple stores.
“We’ll have positions of assistant managers and managers that can run multiple stores without us having to be here every day,” Weedman said.
It’s a big change from the software business, but the two seem to be enjoying their new business venture.
“It’s fun because it’s fast paced. You’re not sitting and watching the clock. Ten hours goes by before you even know it. We’ve been here 12 hours a day for the last 40 days. There’s always something to do,” Weedman said.
“We’ve already gotten to know a lot of the locals who come in every day,” he added.