Long-time Hollister Business Owner Retires After Storm Damage

B & L Closes
Cleaning up after recent storm damage at B & L Outdoor Power Equipment in Hollister. (Photo from Ozarks First)

by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First

A long time beloved business owner in the Ozarks is calling it quits.

There were several factors that prompted the owner of B & L Outdoor Power Equipment in Hollister to retire.

But, no doubt having his store damaged several times by severe weather definitely played a big role in that decision.

“You have reached B & L Outdoor Power..due to Father Time and Mother Nature, B & L closed it’s doors for the last time on Tuesday June 4th,” says a phone message from Larry Vejraska, owner of B & L for more than 30-years.

“We had figured out the floods. We figured out how to handle that. But, then when this came along it was like, really? It’s almost like you can’t believe that can happen,” said Vejraska, “I’ve had some other stuff happen…some health stuff happen. So, I just figure it’s time to .. a good opportunity to do it.”

It was a touch decision to make.

“You know, it’s kind of surprising. You find out really how many people know you. You know..uh..and you make a lot of good friends over the years,” Vejraska said.

All may not be lost for B & L. We’re told that people are stepping up to the plate, that want to take the helm.

“Yeah, I’ve got prospective people now that want it — and they know that the community needs it.. that’s why, said Vejraska.

John Padgett, does professional lawn care. He’s been a customer of B & L for 27-years.

“Like today, my mower is broke down,  Something minor and he can fix it real quick. So, when he’s not here, I’m going to have to run to Springfield,” Padgett said.

Terry Kelley is also a customer. “This is where I’ve been buying all my parts for my lawn mowers and stuff..and I sure hate to see him go out, said Kelley.

Vejraska’s phone message ends…”We leave you with heavy hearts, but an optimistic outlook on the future. Thanks for the opportunity to serve you for the last 30-years. Best wishes and no messages please.”

Vejraska also said he plans to take care of customers who were waiting for repairs.