There are new owners at an old favorite in Enterprise — the Back Country Little Store on North Street. Chris and Tina Borgerding took over earlier this month.

The Borgerdings replace former owners Tyson and Jessica Samples.

“They just wanted a change,” Tina Borgerding said. “They’ve been in the retail business a lot of years and just wanted a change.”

The Samples were not available to comment.

Tina Borgerding, who will be the primary operator of the convenience/grocery store, said her husband, Chris, has his own full-time job as a contractor. Tina will run the store alongside daughter Katie Larson.

Tina said running a retail store is a new venture for her. She said she worked in the Enterprise store and one in Joseph when they were under a previous owner. The former Joseph store was where the Daily Grind Processing butcher shop now is located.

The convenience store is a popular stop for beer, wine, soda, energy drinks, snacks, food for EBT (food stamps) customers, deli food, coffee, tobacco and a variety of other items.

“Of course, we also sell bait for fishing and we have a few hunting products that change out as different hunts come on,” she said.

Unlike their predecessors, they won’t be selling hunting and fishing licenses and tags.

“If you’re busy and somebody wants one, you’ve got to stop and fill it out and it’s too time consuming,” she said.

In addition to working in previously owned Little Stores, Borgerding had a lawn-maintenance business for several years, worked in several bars and restaurants, stayed home for several years to care for her father-in-law and raised five children. They’re all in their 30s now, and the Borgerdings have six grandchildren.

Tina Borgerding is a lifelong Wallowa County resident, while Chris has lived here since age 12. They’ve lived in Joseph for more than 20 years, she said.

Just prior to purchasing the store, she was working in a local nursery.

“I was working at the Wallowa County Nursery for Terry and Irene Bates — which I loved — for the past six years,” she said. “I heard (the Little Store) was for sale and thought maybe it was a time for change for me, too. As we’re getting older, sometimes it’s nice to do something different.”

As for changes, Borgerding doesn’t have a lot of solid plans yet.

“I’m just going to keep it going how they did it until I get into the groove,” she said. “Then we might have some changes. Maybe a bigger deli for people who don’t get a lot of time for lunch. Other than that, I just don’t know.”

As she gets caught up on ordering, she has one major message for customers:

“Come on in and see us,” she said.

For more information on the Back Country Little Store, call 541-426-4824, email ourbackcountrystore@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page.

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Bill Bradshaw is a reporter for the Wallowa County Chieftain. Have a business tip? Contact him at 541-398-5503 or bbradshaw@wallowa.com.

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