The store is a second job for Stanford and his wife. He’s a banker, and she’s a Realtor. They live in Stafford County, and purchased the business in December 2020. COVID-19 regulations prevented them from having a proper grand opening.
But with most restrictions lifted, the Stanfords are holding a grand opening June 26 at 10 a.m., a bit of an ironic moment for a store that dates back to 1914.
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Stanford explained that while he and his wife had operated retail clothing stores in the area, they weren’t prepared for everything they would need to know. The shop sells everything from lottery tickets to souse, and offers more than 100 different types of soft drinks.
The previous owner stayed on during the transition, spending more than a month explaining the ins and outs of operating a classic corner store.
“Sure, we’ve got the cigarettes, beer and snacks that bring guests in, but we’ve also got fruit, some vegetables, bologna that we slice and the souse that some customers drive an hour to come get,” Stanford said. “And if we see customers looking for something and not finding it, we ask them about it so we can get it the next time they’re in.”
One recent night, shoppers came in for beer, smokes and ice cream. One came in specifically for Dole strawberry lemonade, an item the customer had requested on a previous visit.