Just the essentials
Monday – Saturday 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
In 1911, at the age of eighteen, Ed Decker opened a general store in Melbeta, Nebraska. The store featured groceries, dry goods, shoes, and general hardware. Ed staffed the store with his father Bazel, and wife, Lucy and later with their children. They were supplied by a wholesaler in Scottsbluff, Nebraska that was later purchased by Nash Finch Company. The store operated under the U & I store banner, (United and Independent Stores). In 1937, Ed’s oldest son, Thurman, opened a grocery store in Lyman, Nebraska. Ed relocated his business to Guernsey, Wyoming in 1940, where he remained until retiring in 1953.
Max Decker along with his brother, Thurman, and father Ed Decker built a new store in Newcastle, Wyoming in 195, Decker’s Food Center. Unlike the general stores the family had in the past, this was a supermarket selling primarily food products. The store featured only the newest innovations for fixtures, equipment and marketing available; most of which had never been seen in the market. The store was located blocks away from main street shopping and boasted a large free parking lot with customer carryout service.
The original building has been expanded five times and the store has been remodeled several more times. Today, the store is about 17,000 square feet with a bakery, deli, full-service floral department, as well as the traditional offerings of a supermarket.
Max and Thurman built a second store in Gillette, Wyoming in 1961 when Thurman’s son, Gary joined the company. During the next fifty years family members operated stores in fourteen different communities over a four state area.
Today, the family tradition is carried on in Wyoming by Max’s sons, Danny and Kenny. Danny operates the store in Newcastle, while Kenny manages their store in Lusk that they purchased in 1992. The brothers also operate a third store in Sundance that was purchased in 2011 from their cousin Gary. The family tradition is also carried on by their cousin Edgar who operates two stores in eastern Nebraska.