Friday, May 8, 2015

G is for General Store

Until  yesterday, I didn't realize Paso Robles had such a thing as a general store. However if you rid yourself of preconceived ideas of what a general store is, Paso Robles does have one. My idea of a general store was more in line with the ones found in small towns or in the early pioneer towns where a general store tried  to carry everything a family might need to survive -- food, blankets, tools, seeds, fabric, kitchen utensils, whatever was essential for living daily life.

The General Store in Paso Robles is a bit different. It carries instead an assortment of goods that make life more pleasant and more fun -- for yourself or someone you want to gift. Its window says is has "local goods and provisions for pantry and home." Many of these are gourmet foods like jams, candied nuts, local vinegars, seasonings, olive oils, and wines. They also have a dairy case of local cheese and salami. As I was browsing, I was given a sample of the Paso Almond Brittle, and it was very tasty. Did I mention that the owner and the others manning the store were very helpful? No one will ignore you here.

Browsing the shelves is a lot of fun. It was especially so for me. I've had many years of experience selling books and buying them wholesale. I've been to Book Expo a couple of times and seen all that publishers have had to offer bookstores. Naturally my eyes were drawn to the book displays.  I saw at least two of them. One had a lot of books on cooking and wine -- a wise choice for this area where foodies abound and wine tasting is a favorite leisure activity. But since I've specialized in children's and educational books for the past twenty years, I especially liked this display.

For nine of my years in retail I was a greeting card buyer. I attended gift shows twice a year and sales reps for card publishers called me often. My goal was to have beautiful tasteful cards that were uplifting and often humorous, but never in a mean or vulgar way. Naturally when I saw a card rack in a corner on the walls, I had to check it out. I'll just say that if a sales rep had showed me these cards, I would have bought them. They are a rare find. And they have some great ones for mothers. These are just a few in the display. You can make the photo larger by clicking it to read the words.

There's not enough room to show you the whole store. You will just have to  go downtown to 841 12th Street see it for yourself. You can also preview the General Store website and their Facebook Page for a close look at some items I didn't show you here. It won't show you all the baskets, hats, books, wall hangings, towels, tote bags and other goodies you will find if you actually visit the store, though. Next time you are downtown, just stop in and look around. If you go before Mother's Day, you're sure to find something your mom or grown daughter would love -- even if it's just a bag of this scrumptious almond brittle.
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