[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     April 22, 2011

New mini-shoppette to save Soldiers travel

Story & photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems & Services

The new West Side Express, building 2662, now is serving the needs of Soldiers working and billeting in the 2400 through 2800 blocks, affectionately referred to as “Mob Alley.”

PHOTO: JoAnne Murphy stocks a shelf at the West Side Express as Neal Smart watches. Photo by Tom Michele
JoAnne Murphy stocks a shelf at the West Side Express as Neal Smart watches. Murphy is a stockroom foreman at the Fort McCoy Exchange, Smart the Exchange store manager.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) renovated a former laundromat to convert it into a mini-shoppette.

The barbershop in the rear of the building is unchanged and continues operation.

Fort McCoy AAFES General Manager Steve Ard said the new facility fills a need. “Soldiers housed in this area don’t have personal transportation and spend a lot of time walking to the Exchange, sometimes taking the shuttle bus. We are now making it easier and quicker for them.”

The Express will be open from noon - 7 p.m. daily, Ard said. “We will adjust those hours as needed.”

Exchange Manager Neal Smart said the Express will stock snack items, hot and cold foods and drinks, health and beauty products, and more. There even is a selection of Teddy bears.

Ard said the Ground Round food vendor also will park its van by the building, with probable hours of operation from noon - 3 p.m., to start.

“We are going to grow,” Smart said, “It is all about caring for Soldiers.”

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