BY JACLYN ROSE –
The Corner located at 1100 Highway 71 North, in the Atwood’s Shopping Center is a full service gas station and convenience store that offers both E10 and gas without ethanol. The service goes beyond your average gas station with a large, fresh, hot, and homemade breakfast menu and a daily hot plate lunch special.
Ronnie and Mitzi Duckett purchased The Corner from Larry Stricklin in 2011 and immediately got to work adding a dining area and expanding the store. They added well-known local cook Jack Holland to their staff and he brought on Kathy Lance, who added many more years of experience to the crew. Every morning the breakfast, which includes, chocolate gravy, regular biscuits and gravy, breakfast sandwiches, bacon, sausages, hot links, hash browns, home fries, eggs and breakfast burritos, is cooked fresh and available from 5:30 am until 10:30 am. On Monday through Friday, from 11 am until 2 pm, you can get the daily hot plate lunch special. Monday’s and Tuesday’s the chef’s choice is served, Wednesday is Kathy’s Fried Chicken and Thursday is Jack’s Meatloaf with Fish on Friday. Hamburgers are available during lunch on Monday through Friday and Hunt’s Pizza is available anytime The Corner is open for business.
The Ducketts were married in 2002 and between them have a blended family with four children, four grandchildren, and two more on the way. Mitzi worked for Wendy’s and Exxon for the last twelve years, and was the manager for the past eight years. There she gained a lot of knowledge and experience in her industry. Ronnie served Polk County as a High School Agriculture Teacher for many years, first at Hatfield High School and then at Mena High School, he then went on to manage the bus garage until he retired.
Both hometown people, the Ducketts are true members of the community who run a locally owned and operated convenience store that takes pride in its community. “We are a little unique as a local hometown store, we may see the same people two to three times a day, every day; hardworking people, we offer them consistent, friendly service with a personal touch,” explained Ronnie.
The Corner has recently been enlarged and the Ducketts are working to make it even bigger. Within Mitzi’s two year plan is a larger selection of cold drinks, with a full fountain stand, a much larger cooler and a larger family-oriented dining area. According to the Ducketts, the new facelift given to the Atwood’s Shopping Center has been a big blessing to their store location and business.
“We are so thankful for the people in Polk County, as well as the beauty and the area. It was recently named the number one city in Arkansas to retire in,” said Mitzi. “It’s nice to have the ability to live and work in a city others want to retire in,” added Ronnie. “We are so thankful for our hometown crowd, we appreciate them so much. They are our people, both in Mena and Acorn, they are so good to us and without them we wouldn’t have a business. They are why we are here and who we serve,” Mitzi said. “I was fortunate to work at two good school systems. There was no way I could have left Polk County and improved my situation at all. We are so grateful to the people in our community,” Ronnie said.