"Right off the bat, I wanted to do three things — paint the ceiling, add more lighting, and set up flagpole so we can have the U.S. Flag up."
Back Porch Liquor is getting a new front display, thanks to new owner Galen Chizek.
Chizek has been implementing improvements to the store at 2695 U.S. Highway 56 in Canton since August, and is glad to see the work is paying off.
“I set very high goals for myself, so right off the bat, I wanted to do three things — paint the ceiling, add more lighting, and set up flagpole so we can have the U.S. Flag up. We have those done already, so now I’m looking at a few other projects,” Chizek said. “I’m a little old school in my work ethic, always working hard and keeping busy. There’s always something to do, so I’m never really bored here. There’s always restocking, reordering, reorganizing, checking prices, and there’s always dusting.”
Chizek explained that the new name came courtesy of his wife, Ruth, in reference to the store’s unique — almost backwards — architecture.
“I wanted to name it something patriotic, but we got to thinking about how this place doesn’t have a front door. It only has a back door because the highway is right by the front of the building, so Ruth thought of calling it Back Porch, to indirectly refer to the entrance at the back. As we keep building here, we’ll probably open that back area up and build a little porch there to really go with the name,” Chizek said. “We live in a rural community, so it’s nice to kind of keep that homey, old-school feel.”
Chizek is familiar with running a small town store — he first ran a convenience store in Lincolnville after the grocery store closed, but since sold his farm in the area.
“I basically sold the farm and bought a liquor store,” Chizek laughed. “I’ve lived in the Canton community for about 10 years for the gas company before they sold out, so it’s nice to be in town.”
With experience at the convenience store, and a history of part sales, Chizek is sure that a friendly smile can do good things for a business.
“I’m very customer service oriented. I like helping people and I’ll keep it in the back of my mind if someone’s looking for something, so I can order it for them. I’ve been in agriculture and automotive in parts sales for some time, so I’m using some of those same skills here. Everything has a part number, whether its a case of beer or parts for a combine, so you need to know that item’s history and your need to shop to get the best deal for you and the customer,” Chizek said. “That service is very important. If you’re at a restaurant, the waitress has a lot to do with how people feel about the place. She makes sure it’s clean and your needs are met. Even if the food is bad, you’ll enjoy your experience because she did her job well.”
Chizek is currently completing renovations, including leveling the parking lot, putting up new signage, replacing coolers for ease of access and finding new, local products.
“We can access just about anything produced in the state of Kansas through our distributors. We have Smoky Hill Winery out of Salina, the Most Wanted line out of Aitchison, Roasterie coffee-flavored vodka from Olathe, to name a few. It’s important to me to offer these Kansas producers, and I want to bring in more of these products as we go,” Chizek said. “Hopefully next year we can put in a walk-in cooler for a beer and wine cave. I’m proud of where we’re at and I’m looking forward to making this place really nice.”
Chizek regularly posts updates on products and regular tastings from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays on the Back Porch Liquor Facebook page. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call 620-628-4511.