Our Quality Farm & Fleet store in London, Ohio, had free coffee when you walked in, and a few times each year, the ladies from the Senior Center would hold bake sales (we're talking some seriously delicious baked goods here, and the benefits were unquestionably local!). Nothing like a freshly-baked cookie or brownie to go with that free coffee, and the stories those gals would exchange with the farmers.
It was the way I imagined an old general store would have been, sans the checkers on the barrel and the chairs. You could order a whole skid/pallet of horse feed, alfalfa cubes (hmm... that sounds rhetorical:-), buy Ivermectin (horse dewormer) or Carharts or rubber barn boots or great, thick socks, or Five Brothers flannel shirts in a rainbow array of plaids. Why, you could even buy a new saddle -- if you were shopping for a no-frills Western one -- nylon or leather halters, lead ropes, headstalls, reins... and at Christmastime, you could buy awesome Christmas cards, wonderful candles, etc.
There was an annual "Oshkosh B'Gosh" day when kids could have their pictures taken amidst straw bales, sporting their free Oshkosh handkerchiefs. My two 'kids' at the time, Siberian Husky dogs Beau and Too, got their photos taken with me in my coveralls.
And oh, the smell of bagged "maple goodies" up front at the cash registers would make children and dogs salivate! You could buy spring bulbs, a new lawn mower, an assortment of parts for garden and farm implements.
TSC (Tractor Supply Co.) is in other towns not far away, but it just isn't the same as Quality. Neither is Big Red.... I remember, and miss, our Quality Farm & Fleet store.
Julie Kay Smithson
Julie Kay Smithson, property rights / natural resources researcher since 1999. Subscribe to my efforts today & learn how to protect your property rights!