These businesses are not just country gift shops with farm-house-themed decor. When you walk into one of these old country stores, you feel like you are stepping back in time with aisles of old fashioned toys, knickknacks and candies.
The Olde Country Store and More – 1894
North Cohocton, built in 1873. There is a huge bulk candy selection (350 varieties!), with candy bars and old fashioned candies that you’ve not seen on modern store shelves in a long time.
You’ll also find locally-produced honey, maple syrup, mustard, pancake mixes, granola, jams and jellies, and cheeses.
2. Vidler’s 5 and 10 Variety Store
East Aurora, built in 1930. Vidler’s is nostalgic and fun. You could spend hours wandering around the store’s 4-connected buildings and still won’t see everything!
You’ll appreciate their entertaining and quirky commercials on YouTube if you’re looking for more reasons to go!
3. Marilla Country Store
Marilla, built in 1851. The Marilla Country Store has been in continuous operation ever since. Always a store, the historic building features original plank floors, counter tops and vintage gaslights.
A museum is open to visitors and features a big collection of antique merchandise and old store equipment along with original advertising, stories and more from the store’s history.
This one-of-a-kind store, one of the oldest businesses in Western New York, offers an incredible selection of fresh bulk foods, candies, gifts and décor.
4. Genesee Country Village & Museum Gift Shops
Mumford, established in 1976 with a focus on 19th Century life in “the village that might have been”. There are actually 2 gift shops on the village property that offer historic toys, goods, crafts, and village memorabilia.
As a history museum, they take pride in offing chocolates and toys authentic to the 1800’s, as well as wares made right in the village.
5. Country Store Antiques
Bernhards Bay, built in the 1840’s. There are 3 floors of antiques, collectibles, primitives and local artisans’ wares, plus old-fashioned penny candy counter, cashew brittle and award-winning cheddar cheese.
The building has served as a glass factory, general store, Western Union Office and Post Office, a place to vote, socialize, and watch plays until it’s closing in 1984. The current shop reopened in 2007 as Country Store Antiques.
Where are your favorite old country stores?
Rochester railfans are incredibly lucky that passionate preservationists before us saw the value in retaining structures we can still appreciate today.