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December 09, 2016
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community living

General store renovation retains country charm

Shelby Keesler, left, works in the newly renovated Equinunk General Store. Vicki Drake was the project overseer for the transformation. Employees not pictured include Yvonne Lachance, Emalee Gill, Cookie Buckley and Nell Haffner.
TRR photos by Amanda Reed

EQUINUNK, PA — Under the ownership of Joe Hunt, whose family owned and operated the Equinunk General Store (as far back as his great grandparents), the store has recently been remodeled and restocked. Retaining its purpose of meeting the needs of the local community for basic groceries, there also are expanded deli services, and new products have been added including items such as stainless-steel travel mugs, ball caps, hoodies and more—many adorned with the store’s new logo.

Preserving a country store atmosphere was an important consideration for Hunt, who recalled his childhood, hanging out there when it was the social center of town. “There was always a group of seven or eight regulars who came for coffee and to talk politics and to play ‘Pennies;’ whoever got the most heads, won the pot.”

“Our hope is to make this a destination where people can gather with family and friends to socialize,” Hunt said of the remodeled space.

Amazingly, the store never closed during the renovation, which included not only necessary repairs, but also refinishing the hard-wood floor, adding a looks-like-tin ceiling, installing an oven to bake bread, a grill and a new hood, WiFi capability, XM Radio, new lights and a security system. The area where the old post office was is now a dining/sitting area called the Post Office Parlor.

Beginning March 3 the store will be open 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Sundays.