Grand Island couple carves out new path as retail business owners


Para la versión en español de esta historia, por favor oprima aqui.

Carlos Barcenas contributed to this story.

A few years ago, if someone asked Yasser Toruño and his wife, Nancy Segura, if they ever dreamed of opening their own business they would have said no.

But after Yasser was injured on the job at a construction site a few years ago, they began to explore their options on how to best support their family.

“We were looking for something that would create income,” said Nancy. “I was the only one working full time, and we wanted a house and stability.”

After much consideration, Yasser and Nancy decided to explore entrepreneurship. They discussed what types of businesses would be beneficial to them and which businesses were in high demand, and they found a solution they were both happy with.

“Liquor sales was something we both were interested in,” said Nancy. “We took some time, did some research, and decided to open a liquor store.”

On Dec. 1, 2020, the couple opened Y&N Liquor, LLC, in Grand Island, Nebraska. In February 2021, they reached out to the Center for Rural Affairs for help buying large coolers and inventory, and, after their loan was approved later that month, they were able to do some minor remodeling as well.

Griselda Rendon, Latino loan specialist with the Center, guided Yasser and Nancy through the loan process.

“My experience working with Yasser and Nancy was very pleasant,” said Griselda. “They worked hard to get all the needed documents in a timely manner and have done an excellent job in keeping records.”

The couple also has attended several of the Center’s business training workshops and received one-on-one technical assistance from Center staff, which has helped them run their business as efficiently as possible.

“The Center gave us good information that helped us create the foundation on how to do business research, make a business plan, how much to spend as a business, and also how to set pricing,” Nancy said.

Nancy and Yasser work full time at Y&N Liquor, and Yasser’s father helps part time at the store, which offers more than just alcohol to Grand Island’s over-21 residents. Customers can find snacks to pair with their drinks, lottery and gambling machines, cigarettes, and an in-store ATM.

The best part of opening their store has been making it their own and bringing in their own style, said Nancy.

“We don't have a corporate trainer or owner that tells us what to do and how to act,” she said. “We try to treat every customer as if they were a close friend. We ask them how they’re doing so we can try to get to know our customers individually, and that makes it all the more casual and laid back.”

She and Yasser have come to love being business owners so much they hope to expand, and they know the Center will be there to help when that day comes.

“God willing, we will be able to grow and maybe even open another type of business,” said Nancy. “Working with the Center was a good experience. We trust working with them, and know they’ll help us if we need it.”

Are you looking into starting a business? Contact our loan specialists for free one-on-one counseling.

At a glance

Y&N Liquor, LLC
Yasser Toruño and Nancy Segura
409 N. Broadwell Ave., Suite 4
Grand Island, Nebraska
Hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday noon to 11 p.m.