New Star has new owners

Azzi and Gloria Bukhari are putting down roots in Fort Dodge

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Gloria Bukhari, left, and her husband Azzi Bukhari, pose inside New Star Liquor and Tobacco, recently. The two own the store, located along Fifth Avenue South.

A familiar face at New Star Liquor and Tobacco now owns the business alongside his wife.

Azzi Bukhari, a former employee at the store, and his wife, Gloria, took ownership of the well-situated business in September.

New Star Liquor and Tobacco is located at 1923 Fifth Ave. S. — along the city’s booming Corridor of Commerce.

It sells a variety of liquor, beer, tobacco, soda, energy drinks, and vape products. The store also sells chips, candy and other snack foods.

Azzi Bukhari is happy to be back.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Azzi Bukhari, co-owner of New Star Liquor and Tobacco, looks over the store’s inventory of incense recently.

“I worked here before and I know the potential of this place,” he said. “The customers know me. Good service is what we provided before, so we are trying to do that and improve on that. There is growth, and positive growth, here.”

In recent weeks, Azzi Bukhari has been working to regenerate the store’s inventory.

“The store was totally empty when we got it,” he said. “We are slowly, but surely, building up our inventory.”

He said the store’s top seller is liquor.

“We have a large tequila range,” he said. “We have good prices here. People tell us we are cheap, because we know how to sell it and what the price should be.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
New Star Liquor and Tobacco, located at 1923 Fifth Ave. S, is under new ownership.

Azzi Bukhari enjoys the location of the store.

“It’s busy,” he said. “Everyone can notice the store easily. They are happy because we have a lot of parking space availability and easy to find.”

Azzi and Gloria Bukhari married about a year-and-half ago.

Gloria Bukhari moved to Iowa from California.

When she’s not helping out at the store, she works full time at Great Clips.

“We were both business-minded and wanting to grow in the field we were in,” Gloria Bukhari said.

She added, “After we got married he said this is what he wanted to do and grow the business. I wanted to support him in whatever way I could. There’s people getting to know me. It’s interesting getting to know different types of people each day.”

Azzi Bukhari moved to Fort Dodge from Waterloo.

“I thought this was a good town,” he said. “A good opportunity. That’s why I am here.”

He takes pride in the store’s cleanliness.

“It’s a good business if you treat it clean and like a business,” he said. “There are good customers and we never had any problem with any customer over here.”

He hopes to add another store in the future and said he may even get involved with auto sales.

“I came from the experience of car sales,” he said. “Nissan and Chevy dealership. I have motivation.”

In the meantime, Azzi Bukhari and Gloria Bukhari have been working long hours getting New Star off and running.

They recently hired one employee for the store and may add another, they said.

“We are trying to improve the business and get to know people,” Gloria Bukhari said. “So we know each other as a community.”