Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My Favorite Country Store

I enjoy living in a small town in the country.  This is my favorite store.  I know it doesn't look like much to you, but I love it.  It is not a chain store, doesn't take credit cards and they have never asked me for identification when I wrote a check.  They know everyone in town by their first name.

The men who work there know everything about anything related to farming.  Just ask them a random question about anything and they will have an opinion.  Explain your problem, then they will walk to some dusty shelf in the corner and hand you something.  Without reading the instructions, they will proceed to tell you how to use whatever they have in their hand, then explain the pros and cons.  

I have no idea what most of the items in the store are or how to use them.  If they don't have it, you probably don't need it.

That is a real cat lounging on the counter in front of the cash register.


She sits wherever she wants and everyone works around her. 

I don't know her name.  She may not have a name but her job is to keep the mice under control.  It is a big job, an important job since this is a feed store.  I purchase my feed and grains from them exclusively because of the cats. 

Previously, I shopped at another store but discovered a mouse had chewed a hole into the corner of a bag of feed.  Mouse droppings were inside.  At least it was only for chickens but I have never purchased from that company again.  I know they would have exchanged it or refunded my money.   However, who wants to haul a fifty-pound bag of feed back into the store to exchange it for another fifty-pound bag? 

I don't know how many cats live there and I am not sure anyone else knows the number.  Once the store's owner told me a story about a tourist who dropped by and saw a cat sitting on the counter.  She mentioned she wished she had a cat. The owner picked up the cat and handed it to her.  In shock, she said she didn't have a box to transport it home.  He rushed to the store-room, grabbed a box, stuffed the cat inside then loaded it into her car and locked the doors before she could change her mind.  He is quick thinking.

In the middle of an aisle, right by the cash register, sits a tall PVC pipe attached to the building's support pole. Dry cat food is poured into the top of the PVC pipe, falls down to the bottom and is always ready to be eaten.

Another perk of this store is the free popcorn they pop with a real popcorn machine with real buttery oil.  This isn't the imitation microwave junk but the good cholesterol raising stuff.  They do offer olive oil and sea salt for the health conscious customers.  I have been known to stop by without any intention of buying anything just to get a bag of fresh popcorn.  They are fine with that and take the opportunity to ask if I still have problems with whatever I was complaining about on my last visit.

The most important feature of this store is the bench which sits right beside the front door.  It has held everyone who is anyone and they have discussed everything.  The bench is empty now.  Everyone is too busy planting their garden or working on the farm to sit; however, come winter, on cold, gray days, this bench will always be in use.  

Get Me To The Country...where I belong.


  1. I love that store!! We had one in my town but it's been gone many years. It's not that there aren't any around here but, there are fewer all the time. The first thing I noticed was the worn wooden floors....and the wooden counter. And cats!! It doesn't get any better. What a wonderful place. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What an old-fashioned rural charm! This farm center has really an inviting atmosphere.´The owner surely knows what his customers need.
    I enjoyed the pictures !

  3. Cats and popcorn????? Popcorns and cats???

    You know, I would be one of their most regular (and lousy) customers. They'd have to kick me out of the shop.


  4. What a nice little tour of the store. We have a similar farm and feed store with roaming cats but no food pipe as these lucky one have. They don't have popcorn though. Our local hardware store does have a popcorn machine but only on Saturday mornings.

  5. Oh Gosh, memories. My dad used to take me to an old feed store out in the county, past all the big box stores, lumberyards and nurseries. We would buy seeds scooped out of little drawers and choose from started plants in cans and styrofoam cups. This is such a blast, and what shopping should be like. Personal connections and thoughtfulness, the actual bench for a shopper or elder to sit. Thanks for the visit, Sandi

  6. I love stores like this! Our local Ace has popcorn as well. I can't leave without a bag. :) Love the cat story! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  7. Jeannie, the other day I was reading some older posts on your blog and I came across this one. I love it. It reminds me of so many things in my life, or in my past. I remember growing up we used to always go to this "two pump" gas station in town. Let's not even talk about the price of gas back then. Anyway, I remember going with my mom - (of course it was full serve). The owner's son would pump our gas and my mom would say "My husband will be in this afternoon to fill up his truck and will pay for both tanks of gas." Can you imagine doing that today?? And this was only 25 or so years ago. These are things that are surely missed in many places today.

    1. I can only imagine doing it at this store: nowhere else in the world. The world has changed so quickly, and, sadly, I am not sure it has changed for the better.

  8. You made me think, just for a moment, maybe I could leave Texas. Just for a little old store where relationships are just as important, if not more, than the items needed on the shelves.


    1. Come on home to Tennessee. You won't regret it.