HERD ABOUT IT?
by Ana Grarian
The Town of Genoa in CNY, has been fortunate amongst its neighbors to retain a local treasure, employer and community service – the local grocery store. While other smaller groceries had faded from the landscape, Smith’s IGA, established in 1890, continued.
Smith’s IGA was a full service family owned grocery with a butcher counter, fresh produce, locally produced eggs, and a wonderful staff. When you went in the front door you were greeted by name. The butcher was right there behind the counter. If they didn’t have what you wanted, they’d get it for you. They still carried your groceries to your car.
Smith’s was a place to catch up with local news as you met your neighbors in the bread aisle. Many local kids got their first jobs there. It was a place where a farmer could stop in for a cold drink, or groceries, and not have anyone turn up their nose at work stained clothes, or boots with that lingering barn odor. It was a place where you could buy barn boots or work gloves, along with your sub sandwich.
When kids got into trouble, as they sometimes do in stores, the owner was someone they knew, who demanded respect, but had compassion and a personal relationship with them.
Until recently they had accounts – kept on index cards – so if you stopped in without your wallet (darn I left it in the other tractor :-)) you could still get what you needed. If a local group was running a benefit, you could just drop off some money at Smith’s, and the organization would buy what hadn’t been donated there, and it would be paid for. The store itself donated regularly to church dinners, and other community events.
This store was the definition of small town community. Our town, the community and the country are worse off to have lost one more, hometown proud business.
To read more about the demise of business (and employment) in rural communities….