Grey County's General Stores: Treasures from Days Gone By

Published Date: July 7, 2023

Grab your county map and your biggest tote bag, and come experience the charm of a small-town general store. We have several of these little gems right here in Grey County that are worth a detour.

The dog days of summer are finally here, which means road trips and long drives towards the cottage or campground. Grab your county map and your biggest tote bag, and plan your route to include a stop to experience the charm of a small-town general store! We have several of these little gems right here in Grey County that are worth a detour.

Today, in additional to the essentials, most general stores offer baked goods like butter tarts, homemade donuts, and fresh bread, as well as local produce, homemade preserves, quick snacks to go, and even small frozen meals to cook at home or the cottage. Some also carry local paintings and pottery, antiques and heirlooms, unique gifts like leather bound books and hand-crafted jewelry, and so much more. This makes any Grey County general store the perfect pit stop for your road trip, no matter what time of year. 

Desboro General Store

Desboro General Store

The Desboro General store is our newest addition, having just opened their doors this summer. Though the tiny village of Desboro may be slightly isolated from some of the busier summer traffic, it's definitely worth taking that 10-minute detour. The building's exterior has had a wonderful facelift, and the interior is lined with local art and wooden shelves holding an assortment of treasures. The store also carries hardware supplies, cleaning supplies, snacks, fresh foods, preserves and everything else you could need for a true Grey County summer of simplicity and convenience. Stop by and pick up everything you need for your weekend away, and then take a seat on the lovely patio to enjoy a snack.

Kimberley General Store

Kimberley General Store

Originally built in 1905, this red brick beauty has stood in its place in the center of the Beaver Valley for more than a century. The village of Kimberley along Grey Road 13 is home to this historic general store and its variety of treasures. This store prides itself on its fresh baked goods, loaves of sourdough bread, made-in-house pies, and homegrown produce whenever in season. They also carry an array of frozen dinners made by Justin’s Oven which is right next door. Assortments of handmade art and curiosities fill the rest of the store’s shelves. With the beautiful shaded patio, and selection of goodies inside, Kimberley General store is the perfect stop on your road trip or cycling route.

Holstein General Store

Holstein General Store

The Holstein General Store has one goal: bring the small-town community feel to everyone who stops in, while remaining convenient and efficient. The Plume family has been serving the community of Holstein since 1962, and the store itself dates back to 1890! It offers everything from groceries to local specialty products, camping supplies and all your BBQing needs, as well as the trademark sweets and treats. Open seven days a week, 365 days a year, it's no wonder Holstein General Store has become such an institution for the customers they're so pleased to serve.

Granny's General Store

Granny's General Store

Nobody does a classic general store quite like Granny’s in the picturesque village of Neustadt. Complete with the forest green striped awning and a large bay window lined with flowers and fresh produce, Granny’s General Store is a location you must see for yourself. Inside Granny’s you'll find an assortment of premade meals to go, including sandwiches and baked goods in addition to an astonishing assortment of locally sourced preserves and giftware. It's also stocked with all the grocery items you need for your weekend getaway.

Ravenna Country Market

Ravenna Country Market

Hidden away in the scenic Blue Mountains, the Ravenna Country Market is the ideal pitstop for the foodies on your road trip. The focus at the storefront is their iconic homemade goods, including butter tarts and a wide selection of fudges, gourmet homemade entrees, soups, and sandwiches to fuel you on your journey. Ravenna Country Market also does its fair share of catering, providing services for locations and events throughout the County.

Allan's Mercantile General Store

Allan's Mercantile General Store

The small brick building nestled in downtown Shallow Lake has a reputation for being a one-stop shop. A wide selection of snacks line the old shelves along with beautiful antiques and charming crafts and gifts of all sorts. Allan’s Mercantile also doubles as the local post office which brings Shallow Lake’s small-town quaintness to light. The store also has a selection of delicious Kawartha Dairy ice cream. Allan’s Mercantile is a true destination for anyone stocking their homes or cottages this summer, and will continue to win over the hearts of locals and visitors alike with its small-town charm.

General stores are an important part of our history here in Grey County. These stores often began as a room located within the merchant's house, but they weren’t just places to buy goods. They were where people gathered to exchange stories, share news, and build connections. Sometimes called mercantiles, emporiums, village shops or even general dealers, these stores were especially crucial in rural centers like Grey County. They played - and continue to play - a key role in fostering our sense of community. 

Arnott General Store

If you really wish to transcend time, the best place to see an original general store is at Grey Roots Museum & Archives. They have just added a historically accurate general store to Moreston Heritage Village. You can visit from the Arnott General Store and the rest of the heritage village seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Canada Day to Labour Day weekend. Please note that you cannot shop at this general store.

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