We forego the big bucks and banker’s hours to serve our communities

To the Editor:

It was with great sadness that I heard of the closing of yet another small rural business. (AltamontEnterprise.com, March 20, 2014: “Can commerce thrive in the modern rural landscape? Hilltown general stores: One long closed, one just closed, one for sale”).  I believe that every small town or village needs to have a country store and I hope that somehow the store in Berne can be re-opened. 

Country stores offer so much more than a convenient place to purchase emergency items.  They are the hub of activity, a place to exchange ideas, and a great place to hear the wisdom of the ages being passed on to anyone who has time to sit and listen.

As the owner of The Olde Corner Store in Gallupville, we have worked hard over the last eight years to provide such a place.  We do provide the typical milk, bread, eggs, and canned goods — those items that you would hope to find in a small store — but we are also a specialty shop offering bulk spices, flours, dried fruits, nuts, and even gluten-free products that you would find in a health-food store.

The “Support Local” slogan is so very important to the small businesses in and around the Hilltowns.  These small businesses are usually owned by people who love the country and are willing to forgo the big bucks, banker’s hours, and yearly vacations in exchange for serving their communities.

These small businesses also give back to the communities as well.  We have been able to support the Berne church and fire department, the Helderberg Christian School, and various fund-raisers for individuals in need.  We have also provided products for fund-raisers for the Berne-Knox-Westerlo wrestling team and the Girl Scouts.

So, when you purchase items at your local businesses, you are not only helping that family, but your whole community.

Although we are the oldest country store in Schoharie County, we consider ourselves part of the Hilltowns.  We are on Route 443 just seven miles from Berne and 13 miles from Altamont.    Come visit us and help keep an icon from disappearing.  America needs mom-and-pop stores. 

Joy Heckman, owner
The Olde Corner Store

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