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Small Business Spotlight: S&N Package Store

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Small Business Spotlight: S&N Package Store

(l-r) Business partners Ali Noorani, Rocky and Andy Nayani. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By Zoe Seiler, contributor

Greater Decatur, GA — S&N Package Store has become a go-to place for those 21 years and older in Decatur. It has been located on Lawrenceville Highway in Decatur since 1994 and everyone seems to know the manager, affectionately known as Rocky.

Ali Noorani and Andy Nayani opened the store 27 years ago and Rocky described it as a little hole in the wall place at the beginning. About six years after opening, they bought the business next door that went out of business and made the entrance on Lawrenceville Highway.

“I love it,” Noorani said of meeting people and providing them service. “We wanted to do something different. This used to be an oriental grocery store and they were shutting down.”

The package store is located at the corner of Lawrenceville Highway and McLendon Drive in greater Decatur. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Rocky, the store manager, has worked at the package store since 1996 and the relationships with his customers inspired him to stick around 25 years later. Some customers who moved away for several years and came back were surprised to still see Rocky working at the store.

“My customers are awesome. They like me, I like them. It’s the relationship you build, how you treat your customers, and they come back to you,” Rocky said.

Rocky values his customers and aims to cater to their needs. He’ll order products for people if they ask and approve the price.

“The whole thing is you keep talking to your customers, number one,” Rocky said. “Number two, you ask them what they like and what they dislike and then you keep adding inventory according to what your neighbors need. When I say neighbors I’m just looking at a five mile radius around me.”

S&N Package also promotes and sells products from local vendors. They carry most beers that are brewed in Georgia.

“We have some awesome selections of local beers, like all the Decatur breweries, like Wild Heaven, Three Taverns, we have a very very good relationship with them,” Rocky said.

He added that it’s his job to help other businesses in the community and promote their products.

“[That’s the] only that way the community will come up, otherwise no. We have to look out for each other,” Rocky said.

Co-owner Ali Noorani poses behind the checkout counter. Photo by Dean Hesse.

The store carries about 100 different cases of seltzer. Of that there are only a couple cases of some brands he keeps on hand because two women like it.

Cider, wine and other liquor can also be found at the store.

“It’s still building it day by day, slowly and steadily, bringing in the best other products available in the market, catering to the closest community possible,” Rocky said.

He even gets customers from all over the country, as far as Wisconsin, Ohio and Maine, who are looking for something specific like a funky bourbon. They ask Rocky to order a certain liquor so they can pick it up when they come into town, Rocky said.

S&N Package Store offers curbside service on request.

“But I found there are so many who are afraid of this coronavirus, we are giving curbside service,” Rocky said. “People call, place the order, come in the parking lot, give us the credit card in a plastic ziplock bag, we charge everything, give the receipt and card back in the Ziploc bag, and just put it in their trunk.”

Rocky will also help watch a customer’s kids while they shop. Sometimes he will stand outside by the car to keep an eye on the child or will bring a product out to the car for customers.

“They come to the door, look at me and say ‘Rocky the baby’s in the car.’ So, I walk out, stand by the car, the customer goes and shops,” he said. “Or they just tell me ‘can you bring me this? I’m standing by the car,’ and they just hand over the credit card to me.”

Co-owner Ali Noorani poses in a wine aisle at the package store. Photo by Dean Hesse.

S&N Package Store, fortunately, has not had to shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. The store requests that customers wear masks and social distance while in the store. The staff also clean regularly.

S&N Package Store is located at 2595 Lawrenceville Highway and is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Interior view of the package store. Photo by Dean Hesse.

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