Middlebrook General Store has been serving farming families in Augusta County on and off since 1901. But in August, the iconic hub of this tiny village closed its doors for good. Jessie Knadler has more.
It’s not easy to run a thriving general store in a village of 200 people. The café/gift shop/gathering place actually closed temporarily in 2009. But more than 100 passionate investor owners came together, contributing time, money and patronage, and have kept it going since 2011.
But now those efforts have come to an end. A community-owned store became too hard to manage without a single unifying vision. Six managers cycled through in seven years.
JONATHAN KERN:For this type of business to succeed it needs to have a hands-on owner committed to it who has the time, capability to manage, promote and run the store.
Jonathan Kern is board chairman of Middlebrook LLC. Until a buyer can be found, Middlebrook is left with a big gaping hole.
KERN:Yes, without question, for me, I don’t have somewhere to go for lunch.
But Kern is optimistic that Middlebrook General may rise yet again. He says a couple of individuals have already expressed interest in buying it to run as their own shop.