a new name
Havre Daily News
Village Grocery, subject of a struggle between its owner and the Rocky Boy tribal council over the tribal cigarette tax, has been reopened by the owner's daughter.
Village Grocery was closed this month by court order when owner Debbie St. Pierre refused to pay the tribal cigarette tax of 55 cents a pack.
Donelle St. Pierre, daughter of Debbie St. Pierre, purchased the store from her mother and opened it on Friday, Donelle St. Pierre said today. She has named the store D & D Groceries after her children.
She said today that she is operating the business just as her mother did, with the same hours. She has invited some former employees to return, a few of whom are already working for her.
The old Village Grocery sign, visible from the Laredo Road, will stay up for now, "until I make some money," Donelle St. Pierre said.
She is not selling cigarettes, but will likely sell them in the future, she said.
Tribal council chief of staff Richard Sangrey said today that Donelle St. Pierre was granted a business license to operate D & D Groceries.
Rocky Boy tribal court acting Chief Judge Joe Morsette had ordered Debbie St. Pierre to close Village Grocery by July 5 or pay the tribe $5,500 Morsette said she owed in back taxes. St. Pierre chose to close the store. She said afterward that she will try to appeal the court's decision in tribal appellate court or in federal court.