A husband and wife in a modest general store in a rural Pennsylvania township are concerned that they are the last of their type.
In the center of its namesake town of Centermoreland, Pennsylvania, lies a modest, family-run general store called Centermoreland Grocery and Deli.
Alan and Sharlene Weidner, a married couple, are the owners of the business. Although it is challenging to run a neighborhood shop that adheres to the same business principles as it did a century ago, the two do not want to retire.
The Weidners adore it, but they worry that once they pass away, their historic shop won’t be preserved.
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“There are still some mom-and-pop shops, and they are struggling to survive. They exist, but fewer and fewer of them, Alan told Fox News Digital.”
“I sincerely hope that someone will leave things as they are, but I know other people who want it and I believe they will want to make changes. They want to establish their own companies, “Added Alan.
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Numerous old photographs, postcards, and advertising featuring the Centermoreland store have been provided over the years by neighbors and other locals of Centermoreland.
The business has developed into something of a communal icon as a result of its lengthy, well-documented history.
A shoebox full of photos chronicles the history of the establishment, from its start as a post office to its transformation as a general store to the present.
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In one image, a large group of people gathering outside the Centermoreland Store are seen driving vintage cars. Another old photo shows an outdoor horse-and-buggy waiting.
The Weidners’ goal has been to honor the neighborhood through both the things they offer and the emotions they arouse in their clients.
All of the deli’s numerous food selections are cooked in-house and offered at minimal profit margins, evoking the affordable, regional cuisine Sharlene laments the disappearance of at community church events and fire department potlucks.
The shop is stuffed to the gills with antique relics of American small-town life, including a Radio Flyer wagon and the fixed-gear bike Sharlene used to ride as a kid.
After her term as manager, Sharlene said to Fox News Digital that she doubts newer generations would have the passion to keep the shop open, but she doesn’t find it unexpected.
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Sharlene pointed to the collection of antique Americana adorning the walls, saying, “Even after my parents died away, we had antiquers come in and look at some of their stuff, and they said it’s a dying breed because people just don’t respect these things anymore.”
The younger generation working with the Weidners, though, is more upbeat.
Alan and Sharlene Davenport’s grandchild is Timothy Davenport. He was behind the deli counter slicing slices on his 18th birthday when Fox News Digital visited the shop.
“I adore it everything. Coming in here and just knowing about all the historical items, like the axles and the beehive, is something I adore “He points up above him to a large, abandoned beehive that is the size of a basketball and is housed in a pair of mounted deer antlers while grinning.
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But you also have folks of my age who just walk in and don’t really look at anything, he remarked. Therefore, I would argue that my generation is a bit of a mixed bag.
During his shift, Davenport works primarily in the deli and manages the counter alone. He’s currently enrolled in a cooperative education course that lets him go to class in the morning and spend the afternoon working with his grandparents.
As Davenport says, “I would say I started this summer, but I actually started a little bit earlier, always helping out whenever I could. “I always made the pizzas when I was younger. When I was in middle school, I believe, I was beginning to create the pizzas and everything, and then the idea of working here simply came to me, so I started working in the deli. I enjoy doing it because it’s enjoyable to interact with everyone.”
Davenport is working at the business while pursuing his desire to become a technician by completing the required training. He left open the option of taking over the business when his grandparents retire, but he is concentrating on the here and now rather than an imagined future.
Alicia Sickler, 29, is the only worker at the business who is not related to the Weidners by blood. But she still refers to them as “Grandpa” and “Grandma.”
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“I was raised in a neighborhood. My grandfather used to frequent this location at least four or five times a day to have coffee “explained Alicia. Her granddad was a concrete worker who frequently repaired the business.
Alan chimed in, “We never charged him a dime. Alan and Alicia both chuckled.
“It has a little more of an old-soul feel here. Although people are making a little bit more of an effort to maintain things like this, it is undoubtedly becoming more difficult “cited by Sickler in Fox News Digital.
She asserted that a mindset that has all but vanished defined the region and most of rural America.
Sickler is more upbeat than her coworkers when asked about the store’s future, but she is realistic about how demanding a deli operation can be.