There’s something irresistible about an old-fashioned root beer stand, and Clark Monroe, owner of B-K Root Beer Stand in Troy, agrees.
For 37 years, Clark and his wife Lisa have run the stand, which opened a new location off County Rd. 25A in 2000. From root beer floats to signature Spanish hot dogs, the stand is a seasonal favorite for visitors, both young and old. Visitors can walk into the restaurant or stay in their car for old-fashioned carhop service.
“My parents owned it from 1974 to 1986, and we had the opportunity to buy it. And then we built the new store where we’re at now,” he said.
Funding Frustrations: Other Banks Weren’t Working Out
When the couple purchased the business, and for some time afterward, they were banking with other, larger banks.
“We started out with a couple of the other ones that used to be more down-home banks,” Monroe said. “And then when they got bought out and got bigger, they were harder to deal with on just about anything.”
Monroe gave one example of a time when another well-known regional bank denied them a loan they had all but been promised.
“We were supposed to close in the middle of December, and all of a sudden they said that they were tightening up loans and didn’t want to do the restaurant loan right then,” he said. “We have a very good credit score, but it seemed like they thought we were a risk.”
From Lunch to Lending
Around that time, Kathy Vukovic, manager at the time of the Troy Minster Bank branch, began to stop at the root beer stand for lunch. (Kathy, who recently retired from the bank after nearly 18 years as the branch manager, is still known in the community for her legacy of customer service and community support.)
“She always said, ‘You’re welcome to come in and check us out,’ and we finally decided to go out and talk to them. We ended up building a good relationship,” he said. “I found out that Kathy’s cousin and I went to school in Dayton, and her uncle used to cut my hair — so it just seemed like we settled in and got to know her well.
“We’ve also worked with [Senior Commercial Lender] Jerry Herbe, who’s made some loans happen really easily for us,” he added.
Monroe said he has recommended Minster Bank to other business owners numerous times. His sons, who own Monroe Grounds Maintenance, also changed all of their banking to Minster Bank.
“We are grateful for the partnership we have. I wish we would have found them a lot sooner. Everything’s so easy to deal with. As soon as we decided to go with them, we were glad we did,” he said.
Small Bank. Big Service.
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