With a brilliant smile Lauren Atcher, the new owner-manager of the Andes General Store greets you as you step inside. On a table near the door Bread Fellows loaves invite you. Brad Darling from Darview Farm in DeLancey arranges jugs of his maple syrup beside the bread. Bags of Foster Built coffee beans from Bovina line the shelves beside good old ground Maxwell House.
Lauren confesses, “Farming is my passion.” She is bringing local farm goods to her store in Andes: Dirty Girl goat cheese and milk, apples and potatoes, and, of course, meats, honey, eggs, blankets and lambskins from Argyle Farms which she and her husband Patrick co-manage. Even the store itself was remodeled with local sourcing: the 16-foot counter and cunning wall cabinet with its many drawers for hardware and pharmaceuticals are from Sean at Kabinett and Kammer down the street.
Venture past the “penny” candies (25¢ a scoop!) on the counter and the well-stocked refrigerator wall to the back room. Ah! The familiar barrel of fat pickles gleaming in brine, just-baked muffins and hot coffee soon to be joined by hearty soups, sandwiches and other fare. At the very rear, a laundromat is planned.
And at the very front—out on the porch—an ice cream window where soft-serve cups and cones will be hawked to passersby.
Lauren already sells Lotto, tobacco and local newspapers, with a variety of groceries, and is negotiating with suppliers for gas and the Sunday New York Times. She invites suggestions for other items you crave. Just come by Andes General Store and let her know.~