There’s been a general store at 618 State Road 62 in Leavenworth for 100 years. It started out as Stephensons & Co, but the family who had owned it since 1917 had to close down in 2008.
It might be a sad story if not for Tony and Judy Gallina. They re-opened the store in 2010 under the name Stephenson’s General Store. Already seasoned business owners, the couple put all their savvy into making the store a continuing success.
And savvy they are. Stephenson’s General Store isn’t an average, run-of-the-mill convenience store. Fitting nicely into the lovely rural community it serves, Stephenson’s is like a step back in time. You open the front door to lovely wood floors and counters, soothing music, and what looks like a movie set for a pioneer film. In Judy’s own words, “People can expect to step back in time. The sights and smells and squeaky floor take many people back to their younger days. The younger ones are in wide eyed awe of all the candy.”
The aisles are lined with the most amazing sights: books and brooms and wind chimes, toys, games, stoneware, honey and products made from it, candles, jellies, and even cast-iron cookware. It’s totally like an episode of Little House on the Prairie. We always expect to hear Mr. Olsen muttering under his breath.
For the Gallinas, owning this business means getting to help people and they thank Jesus for being the reason they are in that position. In fact, running the store has helped them to be more compassionate and aware of the many needs of everyone.
And believe us, they have something for everyone.
Besides the amazing main area, there is a grocery section that will help scratch your convenience itch. Just downstairs is a fully stocked hardware store. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, Tony is always right there waiting to help.
Tony claims that the hardware is the thing customers love most, but Judy argues that, no, it’s everything else. We think it’s the 12 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream on offer in the sit-down deli that calls to mind the old soda shops of the 1950s.
Stephenson’s doesn’t just serve ice cream. They also have sandwiches and hot food, homemade sides, baked goods, sodas (of course) and a whole lot more.
You can check Stephenson’s General Store out early by visiting the store’s Facebook page. And make sure you come to the Market’s Facebook page on Tuesday, September 5, when you can enter to win a basket of goodies from Stephenson’s that will make your mouth water.
When you come to Leavenworth for Backroads Market on October 7, be sure to stop by and say hi to Tony and Judy and take your time looking around at all the cool stuff the store has in stock. Because honestly? Getting to chat with Judy and Tony is the best part about going into Stephenson’s General Store.
See you there!