Butler Dollar Plus and Party is in the process of expanding to soon include a grocery store with produce and coffee bar.
The Main Street discount party supply store, across the street from Trackside Bar & Grill, is owned by Amkit Kakkad and has been open for the past two years. His father, Ketan Kakkad, has helped manage the store over the past six months.
Ketan Kakkad said he first moved to America from India in 1987 to try to make a better life for himself and his family.
"This is the only country in the world where one has the solace that even if someone loses everything and comes on the street, one can still come back up. The people and the system here have that heart built in to help that person make it back," he said.
The family first opened an Oak Tree Dollar store in Edison in 2009. In 2010, the Kakkads celebrated after learning that jewelry they had designed was featured on swimsuit models in Sports Illustrated. This was not the only time the Kakkads or their work were featured in the media. Ketan Kakkad was featured in a documentary program on several Indian television stations for his Ganesha religious statue collection.
The Kakkads moved to Butler shortly after and Amkit Kakkad opened the store. Up until now, the store has offered discount houseware items, party supplies, jewelry and more. Now, the store will offer food items as well.
"We are upgrading the whole store to an upscale news stand with Dollar Plus and Party items, light groceries and produce," Ketan Kakkad said.
The dollar store items will be pushed to one half of the space while refrigerators will take up the other half. The store is also applying to receive its license to sell lottery tickets.
Emil DeLade, the landlord of the building, has been helping with the renovations, including building a counter for the new Green Mountain Coffee selection the store is offering customers. Kakkad has invited patrons to brew Keurig brand coffee or enjoy hot brewed Green Mountain coffee and for a limited time, receive a free 10 oz. coffee with the purchase of a newspaper.
DeLade said he is pleased with the renovations his tenant is completing. He said other Main Street businesses should be inspired.
"I think it's fantastic and I think the town should do more to help them," DeLade said.
Kakkad said the business has had a good relationship with DeLade and that "he's not just a landlord, he's like a godfather." DeLade, who has owned several properties throughout the borough, said he has never had any problems with the Kakkads either.
"In almost 50 years, they have been, by far, my best tenant," DeLade said.