(Lander, WY) – A&P Pawn Shop in Lander will officially transition ownership from current owner Bob Hede, to local teacher and Lander native Rob Packer, with an open-to-the-public celebration on July 1st.
A&P has been a Lander business for over three decades, specializing in Western art, Native American jewelry/bead work and firearms, along with the normal pawn/borrowing services.
Packer, a math teacher at Wyoming Indian Middle School and longtime A&P Pawn customer, had always intended to someday inquire about possibly purchasing the business, and when he saw that Hede had posted a job opening with ownership possibilities, jumped at the opportunity.
“I always knew that Bob’s was a place I could go to look for things that I hadn’t seen before,” Packer commented in reference to the many years he spent collecting coins and bringing them to Hede at A&P.
“I love the history behind stuff, learning new things, and talking to people. Going there was a place I knew I could always go if I was looking for a simple gift for my wife or mom or family member.”
Hede, who has been the owner since 2008 after taking the reins from original owners Alan and Pat (A and P) Robertson, moved to Lander from Casper in 1991, and got into the pawn game after a stint operating a photography business.
Hede stated that he had been acquainted with Packer for a long time, having photographed his family even before taking over A&P, and knew that he was the right fit after deciding it was time to start looking for new owners.
“I guess maybe turning 70 was a factor, but it was just time,” Hede added, commenting that he will still be working at the shop part time in a form of “semi-retirement.”
In terms of what’s new for the business, Packer commented “I don’t want to change too much, because it works. I like what it is,” adding that there will only be minor changes, with more focus on a new website and social media.
“We just want it to be something fun for people to come and celebrate with us,” Packer said in regards to the Friday, July 1st event, which will have the variety of goods for folks to look through that A&P Pawn always provides.
A&P Pawn is located at 1470 West Main Street, (307) 332-7043.