25 Old-Fashioned General Stores Across America
“If we ain’t got it, you don’t need it!” General stores were once the hub of rural towns, where people came not just for provisions but for gossip and treats. We found a bunch that are still thriving, selling penny candy, groceries, housewares, sandwiches and more.
Good Hart General Store: Good Hart, Michigan
Courtesy Good Hart General Store
In operation since the 1930s, this general store also serves as the local post office. In addition to picking up groceries, baked goods and souvenirs, you can buy some of the Good Hart General Store‘s famous chicken or beef pot pies. Check out the nicest small towns in America that everyone should visit.
The Brick Store: Bath, New Hampshire
Courtesy The Brick Store
This general store holds the record for the “Longest Continuously Operated General Store in the United States.” Today, the store sells smoked meats and cheese, local maple syrup and hand-scooped ice cream. The Brick Store is also a popular stop for presidential candidates—Barack Obama and his family enjoyed sandwiches and fudge there. We discovered the favorite foods of 25 American presidents.
Floyd Country Store: Floyd, Virginia
Courtesy The Floyd Country Store
Former owners who were in a bluegrass band would practice at the store after hours—and locals would knock on the door asking to come in and listen. This now-famous weekly jamboree features musicians from all over the country, and the Floyd Country Store even has its own music and dance school!
Brown & Hopkins Country Store: Chepachet, Rhode Island
Courtesy Brown & Hopkins Country Store
The current owner of Brown & Hopkins Country Store has taken great care to preserve the character and features of this 219-year-old building, from the original wood floors to the pot-bellied stove that once warmed the space. Today, the store houses two floors of antiques, country decor, and penny candy. Here’s how to make your own rock candy!
Randsburg General Store: Ransburg, California
Courtesy Randsburg General Store
This store was built a year after gold was discovered in Randsburg in the 1890s, and it served the mining town first as a drug store and then as a general store ever since. The Randsburg General Store also has a restaurant and soda fountain and is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists.
Way Way Store: Saco, Maine
Courtesy Way Way Store
Way Way Store recently celebrated its 100th anniversary! Folks are happy to travel way, way out to the Saco store, a unique building built from hand-poured concrete blocks that are painted in a red-and-white checkerboard pattern. The store has a fun mid-century vibe with a tabletop jukebox, original gas pumps still outside and lots of memorabilia. Try these ’50s-era recipes today.
Nagley’s General Store: Talkeetna, Alaska
Courtesy Nagley's General Store
This historic log building was nearly lost in a 1997 fire, but the community helped rebuild the store. (It was originally founded at the height of the early 20th century Alaska gold rush.) Nagley’s General Store has groceries, coffee, and sandwiches, but is perhaps most popular for the generations of cats that have greeted customers since the 1970s.
Russell’s General Store: Bovina, New York
In their heyday, many general stores had gas pumps out front so travelers could fuel up. It’s rare to find one that still does today, which is one reason why Russell’s General Store is unique. Owned by the Bovina Historical Society, this business that began in 1919 has stayed true to the American general store tradition: selling provisions, gas, locally made goods, and foods while serving as a gathering place for the community.
Marine General Store: Marine on St Croix, Minnesota
Courtesy Marine General Store
Marine General Store is the oldest operating general store in Minnesota, with “Everything You Need at Pretty Good Prices!” Their fresh bakery treats and deli sandwiches are beloved by the community. The store sits at the heart of the 4th of July celebration every summer when the owner hands out glow sticks and folks can relax on the porch.
Berdine’s Five & Dime: Harrisville, West Virginia
Courtesy Berdine's Five & Dime
When this store opened in 1909, the mission of owner K.C. Berdine was to meet the needs of the community with provisions priced at no more than 10 cents apiece. Though prices have changed with the times, Berdine’s Five & Dime has always maintained its commitment to “treat the customer special.” Take a trip back in time with these five-and-dime lunch counter specials.