The original one-stop shopping experience

And general stores are still here, filling a need

Posted 9/27/23

REGION — General stores served many needs in rural communities throughout the United States. They supplied staples, tools and hardware; they sometimes sold fabric and notions; and even served …

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The original one-stop shopping experience

And general stores are still here, filling a need


REGION — General stores served many needs in rural communities throughout the United States. They supplied staples, tools and hardware; they sometimes sold fabric and notions; and even served as early post offices.

If an item was not available in-store, sometimes it could be specially ordered.
Keeping it local

These shops thrived in the time before the greater mobility granted by the automobile and the takeover of “category killer” big box stores.

General stores harken back to a simpler life, when people and even time seemed to move more slowly, when things were less frantic and connected than they are now.

People often gathered at the store as a community center to hear about the latest developments in their neighbor’s lives.

Many stores allowed for a barter system, where families could exchange for what they needed the surplus goods they produced at home, such as eggs and butter. The merchant would then sell these goods to other patrons.

The general store’s most direct descendant is the convenience store. These shops certainly live up to their name, stocking many grab-and-go type items, but they don’t fill the same community niche of a traditional general store.

The modern general store

While the heyday of the general store may be a thing of the past, there are a number of local businesses taking the best parts of this nostalgic, time-honored tradition and bringing it into the present.

Here is just a sample of local general stores. Do you have a favorite? Email

Catskills Curated

Catskills Curated is a unique space spotlighting local producers and artisans. The store was founded with a three-fold purpose: to support local creativity, to provide a consistent place for creators to offer their products, and to promote sustainability.

“We opened Catskills Curated in 2019 with a clear mission in mind—to provide a platform for local artisans, makers and small businesses in the Catskills and surrounding areas,” said Brendan and Kathy Weiden, the owners.

Catskills Curated seeks to be more than just a general store, but rather a celebration of the Catskills’ creativity, sustainability and community.

Catskills Curated can be found at 7 Erie Ave. in Narrowsburg, NY. It is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit or @catskills_curated on Instagram. For more information, call 845/252-3100.

Davidson’s General Store

Davidson’s General Store was renovated and reopened in 2022 because of the special and unique relationship Marilyn Kocher Lusker and her brother, Bill Kocher, had with the previous owner, Mahlon Davidson. They, along with many friends and neighbors, grew up visiting Davidson’s General Store.

Though the original store closed in 1963, the siblings were able to restore the space in the same spirit, adding a mini-museum dedicated to the store’s original incarnation.
Davidson’s is geared toward the needs of campers, hikers, fishing enthusiasts, and most importantly, friends and neighbors.

The mission statement says it all: “At Davidson’s General Store, we strive to provide a welcoming atmosphere, products that are needed and some that are unique and fun, at prices that are fair and respectful.”

Davidson’s General Store is located at 2 Goff Rd. in DeBruce, NY. Its hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit, or the store's Facebook page, https://www.face, for more information. Call 845/439-1190 for updated hours as the seasons change.

Forestburgh General Store

The Forestburgh General Store has been in business in one iteration or another since the 1960s. The business has changed hands more than 12 times, with the current owners in charge for the last seven years.

After spending summers in the area, the owners left Illinois to set up permanent residence in Forestburgh.

The building was once a gas station, but the current owners wanted to create a traditional general store. The Forestburgh General Store now houses a deli and sells groceries, staples, home goods and beer.

According to the owner, it’s the only store of its kind for 10 miles in any direction.
Forestburgh General Store is located at 2841 Rte. 42 Suite 101 in Forestburgh, NY. The store is open every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more by calling 845/707-4862.

Gardner & Co General Store

Owning a unique store was a lifelong dream for Cindy Herbert. Fortunately, a building on her property was the original post office and general store of Hortonville, NY, which she renovated and reopened in July of 2022. The building was a general store, built in 1850 for Charles Horton, who lent his name to the hamlet of Hortonville. The store carries pantry staples, many locally produced, the very popular Ri’s ice cream and carefully curated gifts and goods for the home, as well as works by local and regional artisans.

Gardner & Co General Store is open Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located at 131 County Rd. 121 in Hortonville, NY. More information can be found at, on Facebook and on Instagram @GardnerCoGeneralStore, or email

Hurleyville General Store

The Hurleyville General Store is a shop with a purpose. Beyond selling staples and to-go foods in collaboration with the Neversink General Store, owner Denise Lombardi carves out a space for people of differing abilities. “People with disabilities, like our son, are our compass. Our mission is far greater than serving coffee, lunch, and selling unique items. Our mission is to create a kinder and more understanding environment for people like our son to thrive in,” said Lombardi.

The store opened on September 13, 2019. “I am fortunate to live, work and volunteer in a place that has embraced our family and propelled us to keep going despite tremendous personal and professional obstacles mostly related to the pandemic. I am so looking forward to celebrating four years with them and many more,” she said.

The Hurleyville General Store is located at 238 Main St., Hurleyville, NY. It is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visit hurleyvil, Facebook and Instagram @hurleyvillegeneralstore, call 845/640-6906 or email

Milanville General Store

Established in 1850 and family-owned and operated since 1979, the Milanville General Store, located in Milanville, PA, retains the feeling of a community hub.

It anchors the Milanville Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building’s architecture recalls the town’s most prosperous era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The business offers cigarettes, deli items, pizza, sweet treats and other baked goods, bread from Beach Lake Bakery, gifts, décor items and groceries as well as home essentials and camping needs.

The Milanville General Store is located at 1143 River Rd., Milanville, PA. The hours are Monday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 8 p,.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 570/729-8390 for more information.

Spruce Home Goods

Carrying a mix of local and international grocery offerings, British baked goods, gifts and essentials for the home, Spruce Home Goods is a modern take on a traditional
general store. Owners David Tew and Lori Grant have been in the Upper Delaware community for eight years. Their desire to provide carefully selected items for table and home led them to open the store in May 2018. They also offer a large inventory of items for online shopping.
Spruce Home Goods is located in downtown Callicoon, NY at 35 Lower Main St. Hours are Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Visit, Instagram @SpruceHomeGoods, or call 845/887-3202 for more information.

Rowland Cooperative Store

Situated on the Delaware River in the hamlet of Rowland, PA, the Rowland Cooperative operates the general store at 101 Solversen Rd. and has plans to reopen the old toll booth/bait store across the street.

The building dates to the 1850s and has served as a mule stable, gas station, general store and post office. Before its current incarnation as a cooperative, it was a café celebrating the area’s Norwegian heritage.

The store sells groceries, fresh food and hygiene and gift items.

A cooperative is a type of business that community members can join and participate in the operation. The co-op hosts regular meetings and posts minutes to their website.

The Rowland Cooperative Store is open Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The store is closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Call 570/685-9500 for more information.

Woodstock Oasis

Minutes from the site of the famous Woodstock Music Festival, now the Bethel Center for the Arts, this rustic stop on Route 17B is something to behold. The store has a menu of breakfast items, pizza, sandwiches, wings, mozzarella sticks and fries, as well as candy, snacks and drinks. There is an assortment of hippie-related items such as shirts and bags, many of them tie-dyed. It also sells CBD and vapes.

It is the memorabilia and décor that really give the place its vibe. There are records, posters and other details to showcase the history of the site.

The food is hearty and there is seating outside.

Woodstock Oasis is located at 2166 Rte. 17B in Bethel, NY; call 845/583-5500 to learn more. The store is open every day but Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.


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