Parker County Today November 2017 - Page 72

our business: APES LIQUOR Sikhs Business Success and Finds It BY MEL W RHODES Apes Liquor: Secret Mix for Success? Respect and Customer Service N 70 owadays he often wears a cowboy hat instead of a turban, but 75-year-old Upinder Singh is still a Sikh who has been visiting Parker County for business reasons for 4-5 years. “But I’m here permanently since last year,” he said. “Here” is Apes Liquor on the west end of Weatherford. One of his sons, Harpinder, owns the busi- ness, which Singh called a family affair.  
 Singh grew up in British India, during the British Raj. India gained its independence from Britain in 1947. When the British quit India, his fami- ly moved to New Delhi. His father had served the British government as an engineer, a profession Singh certi- fied in as well. “In 1965, I came to the States for higher studies,” Singh explained. He attended Oregon State University where he studied mechanical and nuclear engineering. He had already studied civil engineering in India. He said he has a master’s degree in nuclear engineering.

 “I worked all over the country for nuclear power plants as an engineer, and finally I joined the Marine Corps as an officer,” said Singh.

 After retiring from the Corps, Singh bought properties as invest- ments, one of them, in 2007, the Apes Liquor building and business at 1228 Ranger Highway. He leased the property to two different liquor fran- chises, one of which went bankrupt.

 “The community needed a store here to serve their needs,” Singh said, “so I decided to open it myself. It’s not rocket science.”

 Singh came to the US at age 24, became a citizen in 1968, and feels right at home, especially in Texas.

“I love this place,” he said. “The people are very nice and friend- ly.”

 His business plan is simple: treat people right. He does this by keep- ing his store cleaner than most liquor stores you might go into, and by helping each customer who walks in his front door. It’s that detailed customer service that keeps people coming back time and time again. 

 “You must serve the people with respect or you’re out of business,” he said. “You have to have reasonable prices and offer great service; and we have the best customer service.”