Ode to the Country Store

The Center of the Universe

Before supermarkets, truck stops, convenience stores, and “Wally-Worlds;” communities were served by local markets.  They were small and did little if any advertising.  Most of the shop owners lived nearby, some right beside the store.  The prices were marked up only to make a small profit.  Some owners let customers run a tab to be paid at the end of the month.  There were a few chairs by the wood stove where a traveler or local could eat a sandwich.  Farmers brought feed and seed.  Sporting supplies and hardware could be found just down from the canned goods.  The country store had a little bit of everything.  Despite the modernization of the economy, these nostalgic little stores still exist thanks to merchants who enjoy serving their neighbors more than getting rich.

Jim Hall’s Store sits at the intersection of Rts 30 and 626 some “ump-teen” miles from West Point.  It’s crossroads location is a magnet for all who reside in or drives through lower King William.  My church is right across the field.  So, I like to grab a barbecue and some chips for lunch on my days at the office. Crabs and oysters are available  in season.  I also get news about how the shad are running in the spring.  Expect a little of anything out of Jim Halls from rabbit feed to fresh bacon.  He’ll put it all in the same bag for you.

Downtown Croaker

Taking exit 231-B from I-64 to York River State Park will bring you to Garret’s Store in “Downtown” Croaker, Virginia.  Steve Garret extends a handshake and helping hand to just about anybody.  He keeps plenty of bait and tackle for anglers who visit our pier and supplies us for our Kid’s Freshwater Fishing Tournaments in the spring and summer.  Because we don’t have food vendors at the park, Garret’s is a good place to get what you need for a quick picnic.

A couple of other country stores worth the visit:
Kent’s Store (near the King William Courthouse on Route 30) has gas and plenty of groceries.
J & B’s Country Store (West Point/Toano exit 230-A) a rural alternative to the more commercialized madness of Williamsburg.

3 thoughts on “Ode to the Country Store

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