Rimann Liquors of Lenexa founders pass off ownership to long-time employee

After nearly 38 years in business, Rimann Liquors of Lenexa is changing owners. Long-time business owners Mary (right) and Marshall Rimann (center) have sold their share of ownership to part-owner and long-time employee Andy Wingert (left). Wingert took complete ownership of the business earlier this month. Photo credit Leah Wankum.

Rimann Liquors of Lenexa, thought to be one of the oldest locally-owned liquor stores in Johnson County, has changed hands.

Last month, a long-time employee and co-owner of the store took over full ownership from the couple who founded Rimann and give it its name.

Marshall and Mary Rimann first opened the Lenexa store on March 5, 1983.

In 1993, Andy Wingert came on board as an employee and has since taken an ownership stake. On March 3, nearly 38 years to the date after they opened the store, the Rimanns gave full ownership to Wingert.

Located at 15117 W. 87th St. Parkway, Rimann Liquors of Lenexa has one of the longest known histories of continued ownership of any liquor store in Johnson County.

“We love the business, we love the customers,” Marshall said. “We’ve met so many people and made so many friends just by being a part of the community. And we knew that would continue with Andy stepping into complete ownership, because he is part of that — an important part — and we know that he’ll continue with the brand and the idea behind it.”

Located at 15117 W. 87th St. Parkway, Rimann Liquors of Lenexa has one of the longest known histories of continued ownership of any liquor store in Johnson County.

Marshall Rimann said they were “an immediate success” when they opened and later went through a few expansions of the store. Actually, the store was inducted into the Lenexa Business & Industry Hall of Fame through the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce.

“This was a good time to be in this neighborhood because the neighborhood was growing around us also,” he said.

This picture was taken March 17, 1983, 12 days after the store first opened. Photo courtesy Rimann Liquors of Lenexa.

Wingert’s family also has a history in the same shopping center.

His father, Robert Wingert, owned a veterinary clinic, Country Hill Animal Clinic, right around the corner from Rimann Liquors of Lenexa.

‘A happy continuation of our story’

The Rimanns and Wingert said knowledge of the products remains an integral part of the business.

“I learned a lot from Marshall about not only business but just how to treat customers with good customer service, and an awful lot about what we’re selling,” Wingert said.

He says he found himself learning a little bit every day over the years, and now he holds a sommelier certificate.

Mary and Marshall Rimann plan to continue owning their Prairie Village liquor store.

Marshall Rimann said this is “a happy continuation of our story” and that the transition has been so smooth, customers may not have noticed the transition.

Wingert has been a staple at the Lenexa store for years, allowing the Rimanns to quietly step back from the day-to-day business, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is special; I don’t have any sadness about it because it is the culmination of what we had wanted to do,” Marshall said. “To Mary and I and Andy, it’s been a unique business. You can get beer and wine from liquor stores just about on every corner, and we wanted to set ourselves apart when we first started out. And we did, because our whole idea was to make this a shopping environment that people would enjoy. It would be a nice little respite.”

The Rimanns, who live in Prairie Village, said they will continue ownership of their second shop, which is in the Village Shops.