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The Lulawissie Gas and Grocery
The Gas and Grocery
I have spent a considerable amount of time mentioning the Gas and Grocery store that I work for, and have even given a history of the man that started it, but I have never really gone into talking about the store itself.
The “G & G” as the Lulawissians refer to it, is a “fairly” modern, family-run, full service grocery store. We have three gas pumps out front, a pharmacy, and a sit-down lunch counter and soda fountain. We have a full service meat department where we still cut from “swinging meat” to give the customers the best prices on the best cuts available.
We used to have a fresh seafood department as well. The fresh fish, shrimp and the like were delivered fresh from the coast twice a week, but it became too problematic. It was hard to find anyone that was knowledgeable about seafood. We had one person, an older woman from north (yes, a Yankee) that just walked out one day because she just “couldn’t take it anymore”. So we had no choice but to turn the seafood case into a fresh-cut lunch meat and cheese display. Our biggest customers now are the lunch counter on the other side of the store, and Mildred Shoop who loves fried bologna sandwiches with her beer.
All of the produce is locally grown, as much as possible. Of course the bananas, pineapples and the like all come from abroad (which led to a banana spider scare a few times and one minor snake problem). We love to push the local corn, beans, peanuts, onions and tomatoes, but the biggest sellers are the potatoes grown out on the old Fahy farm.
Our lunch counter opens at 6am along with the store to serve breakfast (all day) and stays open until we close at 10pm. You can still get a 10¢ cup of coffee and a 25¢ doughnut. The kids love to come in to the soda fountain after school (at the far end of the lunch counter) and drop quarters into the juke box and hang out with their friends. There are only two rules that Mr. Eaton (the 3rd), the owner, asks of these kids, and that is that their parents know where they are and that they are out and on their way home before it gets dark.
And lastly, we have a well stocked liquor department. Lulawissie County is the only county in the state that is allowed to sell liquor outside of a state run liquor store (it was set up in the county charter that way, with many other exclusions that will be mentioned in later articles.). The beer and wine is on the shelf and in the coolers, but the hard liquor is kept behind the front counter with the tobacco and the ammunition.
We also sell a lot of odd things, like mustard oil and bovine extract. There are a lot of older items still on the shelf that haven’t sold because nobody knows what they are or that they are even there, and they are not removed because they have been there since the days when no expiration date was required on the packaging. Once in a while an old timer will come in and ask for the “Jimson Weed Elixir” and we will have it, in the original glass bottle with a cork stopper, because that’s the way it was packaged in the early 40’s. We even have a bottle or two of “Planton Juice” as a poison ivy treatment, but planton grows wild here like grass, and to sell the bottle would be a miracle.
The G & G is a wonderful place if you want to step back a few decades in time. The character is enhanced by its barnwood walls and oak beamed ceilings, the pickle and cracker barrels, and the old wood stove from the original store (which is still used).
The store seems to be at the center of things here in Lulawissie. It is located just west of the four way on Main Street in the downtown area. Come on in and see us sometime. We’ll pull up a chair around the pickle barrel, play checkers, get to know each other and maybe even have a bite of lunch.
So until next time my friends, be safe. Think happy thoughts, do a good deed for someone you don’t know and always give thanks for everything.
I bid you a good evening