One-on-One with Meg Major
Welcome to Endcap, Pat! Your 53-year-
old company is now the largest
Nebraska-based supermarket chain,
with about 20 stores and 2,000
employee-owners. What is significant
about B&R’s evolution?
Pat Raybould: It all started with Russ, my
dad, being a progressive retailer reading
trade magazines, going to trade shows and
keeping his eye on the competition. He
was always a student of the business and
not afraid to take risks and be bold. His
leadership inspired our people, including
myself. We kept this spirit going by hiring
good, talented people. We’ve always had
an excellent director of operations to help
lead the charge. Mark Griffin, who joined
our team in 2016 as SVP of operations, is
making a big difference in the evolution
of our business.
You followed in your parents’ footsteps
as a second-generation grocer. Do you
have any regrets?
I have no regrets at all. Working in the
grocery business is like a hobby, and I enjoy
coming to work each day. I’m not sure what
business would equal the number of great
ideas I’ve seen our teammates come up with
and execute over the years. That’s my best
business thrill: seeing their ideas succeed.
Credit card interchange fees (otherwise
known as “swipe fees”) have become
a hot-button issue for retailers. What
would you tell the credit card company
executives if given a chance?
I’d alter the famous quote from Ronald
Reagan and tell them, “Mr. Visa Banker,
tear down those swipe fees!” I feel like I’m
getting held up without a gun every day.
Our credit and debit card fees are higher
than our healthcare costs, our supply costs
and our marketing costs. And what do they
all do to deserve these exorbitant fees?
Earlier this year, B&R Stores hosted the
10th Wine and Food Experience benefit
event, which has raised nearly $400,000
over the past decade for the Lincoln
Community Playhouse. What do you find
to be most gratifying about supporting
the arts in your community?
Like a lot of local charities, the Lincoln
Community Playhouse (a performing
arts theater in B&R Stores’ hometown of
Lincoln, Neb.) can really use the money.
They do such a great job and are positively
affecting the lives of so many Lincolnites
by providing experiences they will cherish
and remember their entire lives. It’s
rewarding to be part of this process—not to
mention that the wine and food show is a
really fun and overall great event. In fact,
our Wine and Food Experience is one of
those great ideas created by our team that
I reference above.
As we went to press with this issue,
your sister and fellow B&R executive,
Jane Raybould, was campaigning as a
Democrat for the U.S. Senate. How proud
of her are you? And what do you feel
makes her uniquely qualified to serve as a
I’ve been proud of Jane all her life. She’s a
go-getter, to say the least, and her campaign
took guts and a large personal commitment.
She’s worked hard and is a positive good
listener, and it shows up in how she comes
across in both private and public. She’s a
leader who will not be beholden to any party
figure. A few years back, our Republican
governor called Jane a “positive force
multiplier.” I’ve never heard that phrase
before, and I kind of like it because it fits
Jane to a T.
Pat Raybould is president of
B&R Stores Inc., which includes
20 stores under the Russ’s Market,
Super Saver and Apple Market
banners in Nebraska and Iowa.
Which words or phrases do you
most overuse? I bring up old B&R
history too much.
Name one living person you admire.
Besides my family, I greatly admire Bruce
Springsteen for giving his full effort and
then some with every performance.
What is your personal motto?
Do the right thing. I L L
I feel like I’m getting
held up without a gun
every day. Our credit
and debit card fees
are higher than our
our supply costs and
higher than our