Non-Profit Says Barnard General Store Will Re-open

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A Barnard non-profit says it’s raised enough money to reopen the town’s general store. 

The store closed last spring after 180 years in operation. 

The Barnard General Store with its wraparound porch and view of Silver Lake was a popular spot for visitors and a community center for residents. 

When the previous owners closed it last year, they cited the tendency of residents to purchase groceries and other goods out of town, instead of locally. It’s a trend that’s affected the bottom line of many country stores.

Perhaps it’s a case of ‘you don’t miss your water ‘til your well runs dry’ but since the closing the community has responded. 

When the Barnard Community Trust launched an effort to raise money to buy the building and reopen the store, money poured in. 

Tom Platner of the community trust says so far more than $470,000 has been raised. The largest single donation was $100,000. There were other significant contributions, but much of the money came in small amounts.

"A lot of it’s come in $100, $200, $10. The kid up the block gave us $3.95 from his lemonade stand this summer," says Platner.

Platner says an agreement has been reached for the trust to buy the building and new operators have been found to reopen the store.

"I can’t share their names yet, but they’re a young couple. They’ve got experience and youthful enthusiasm is really important. They’re looking forward to being here and we’re looking forward to having them here," he says.

Platner says the couple will move into living quarters above the store next month. They plan to open up by early April to begin a new chapter in the history of the Barnard General Store.  

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