Rich & Kelli Epps

I retired a year ago from Lowe’s Home Improvement after 25 years. I was most recently the District Manager of 14 stores from Bradenton down to Naples. I’ve always dreamed of owning my own business so as I left Lowe’s my wife Kelli and I started looking at options. We knew we wanted something that would keep us in Lakewood Ranch because our entire family LOVES this community. As we were deciding what business we wanted to go into, I met a gentleman who owned the 7 Batteries Plus stores from Sarasota up through Tampa and after 23 years owning these stores he was actually looking to sell them. It was just great timing for the both of us which resulted in me buying those 7 stores and it allowed us to remain in the community we love.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
Kelli and I have been married for 20 years, we have 3 children, our oldest daughter will be a Junior at the University of Tampa in the fall, our middle daughter will be a Junior at Lakewood Ranch High and our youngest son is in middle school at Bradenton Christian. We moved to this area 5 years ago and can’t imagine moving. I work full time with our 7 stores while Kelli helps with the business and teaches various fitness classes at the Lakewood Ranch YMCA.

Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
The 2 main things I loved about my job as District Manager with Lowe’s and now as the owner of my own Batteries Plus stores are…..#1- I love working with customers and helping solve problems for them and #2- I love training and developing employees and seeing their careers grow.

Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
Thai Spice is one of our family favorites and The Grove is one of our favorite date night spots

Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
We’ve been in this community for about 6 years.

Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
There are 2….Randy and Amy Bezet the lead Pastors at Bayside Community Church. They Pastor one of the largest (probably the largest) Churches in the area but are just down to earth, genuine people that deeply care about this community like we do.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I would love to visit Italy….of course not right now….but I’ve always been a fan of Roman mythology and history so it would be amazing to tour that country

Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
One of my favorite movies is 50 First Dates and The Office is my favorite TV show….at least right now.

Q: What advice would you give to people?
Attitude is everything, always keep a positive attitude and treat others how you would want to be treated….the Golden Rule will get you far in life.

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
Most of my bucket list is travel destinations….Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan are a few on my list

Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
Zac Brown Band or Jimmy Buffet

 

Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
I would love to eat lunch with John Maxwell. I’ve learned so much about Christian leadership from his books over the years that I would really enjoy talking to him in person. I think I would meet him at The Grove for lunch because you can actually have a conversation there and the food and atmosphere is amazing

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
I love the fact that the Lakewood Ranch community has a “small town” feel despite being part of the larger Bradenton/Sarasota area. I grew up in a small town in Virginia so I like the small town feel.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Within 10 years I would like to have an exit plan to pull back from being actively involved in running the stores….either looking at selling them or having someone run the day to day to allow Kelli and I to travel.

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
Many people don’t know that I went to college to go into the medical field and even took the Medical College Admission Test. I went into business by working with Lowe’s as I paid my way through college.

Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Hawaii is definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been…..it’s hard to pick just one place.

Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
December is my favorite month because of the cooler weather here and because of Christmas of course. Christmas is important to me as a Christian and it still feels as magical as it did when I was a child. It’s just a month filled with happiness and goodwill.

Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Every family vacation we’ve ever taken. We love taking vacations as a family and they are always amazing because we have so much fun together.

Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My children. I want to be a great example for them and I want them to have the best life I could possibly give them.

Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
I love the smell of bacon frying and good coffee in the morning.

Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Rest, Happiness, Peace