Priddy's General Store Est.1888
Priddy's General Store celebrates the taste, sight, sound and feel of the Good ole days.
Two miles outside of Historic Danbury, North Carolina at the base of Stokes County's own SauratownMountain Range, home to Hanging Rock State Park is one of Stokes County's best kept secrets, Priddy's General Store. As you drive 2 miles off the beaten path up Sheppard Mill Road you may see the gardens that generations of families have grown relying on the Blum's Almanac they purchased at Priddy's. When you reach Priddy's, nestled in a cross road rural community you truly feel like you have driven back in time.
Priddy's General Store was built in 1888 by Raleigh Hartman. The Priddy family purchased the store in 1929. It was operated by Lula Priddy while her husband farmed. The store was called N.D. Priddy & Company. (N. D. stood for her husband's name, Noah David). Lula ran the store for 31 years. During those years folks would bring in eggs, chickens, blackberries and other homegrown goods to trade for flour, coffee, sugar and maybe even a Blum's Almanac. Lula began the Priddy tradition during the depression and survived. She also was known for helping others to survive too. Those that traded with her during those tough times told that if it had not been for her that their families would have starved to death. Children that remember coming into Priddy's said that Miss Lula always gave them a piece of candy. Her sister Dora stated at the 100th birthday of the store, that a flag should be raised in her honor for all the wonderful deeds she did for her community. Not only did Lula begin running a business at the age of 41, she was also raising 8 children and making sure that 3 meals were on the table for them too.
One of those children, the 7th born and youngest son, Elwood, was 5 years old when his mother began running the store. He happened to be with her when she placed her first order after being convinced by Paul Fulton, a sales rep for Stokes County Wholesale, Inc located in Walnut Cove, NC to reopen the general store. It was this child at the age of 36, who stepped in to take over the family business when Lula's health, at the age of 72, prohibited her to continue to operate the store. Lula ran the business for 31 years
In 1960, Elwood and his wife, Pat began operating the store. They continued the tradition that Lula started with providing much needed services and products that the community needed. Elwood and his wife Pat operated the store together for 39 years and raised 3 daughters, Joan, Jane and Amy. These girls spent a lot of time in the store. Along with chores at home, the girls were expected to help out with the family business too. Stocking, sweeping, dusting, organizing returnable pop bottles and cashiering topped the duties along with sampling the candy from time to time. To one of the daughter's, Jane, this old store became like another sibling to her. She always showed an interest in preserving the store along with the family name and traditions. In 1999, after Elwood lost his life in a car accident due to someone running a red light, Jane stepped in to keep the doors of the store open. Jane also at the time had 3 young children, John-Luke 4, Lauren 2 and Paul-Michael 3 months that she has raised in the store while struggling to do all that was required to operate the old general store. Her husband, Lee a successful restaurateur, supported her dream but not without question. It was tough for her family with the demanding job, little pay and a lot of her time. Five months later, Jane became Mayor of her small town of Danbury to add to the load and remained Mayor for 10 years.
Today, Jane, her family and mother, Pat have gone through many challenges and struggles to keep the store going. Pat has spent 51 years now working at the family business. Something she never imagined would happen. She remembers when she and Elwood came into the business and someone asking if they would stay as long as Miss Lula did and her response was, I doubt it. Pat is now 81 years old and is still working. She has allowed Jane to take over the management of the store. It is still a family affair with sister, Amy helping out from time to time and brother-in-law, Tim. Jane's kids are now at the age that they too can pitch in. Family and some really good friends have given the store the strength and support to survive along with many prayers and strong faith.
Jane's focus of the store is to keep Priddy's as original as it can be. When you step inside Priddy's General Store you will find the original pine shelves filled with antiques, local art, local jams & jellies, honey and purple sweet potato butter. Yes, purple sweet potato butter. Jane states that she is very proud of this item because it is a local Stokes County product that is grown right here in Stokes County. If it is not from Stokes County, then she works hard to see that things the store stocks is Made in America like Pointer Brand overalls from size 2 to 60. Local seasonal produce along with delicious home-made goodies like dried apple pies and june daisy hoop cheese that one washes down with an old fashion glass bottle soda are among the favorites at Priddy's. Jane has also put together on one of the top shelves of the store a mini museum of store original pieces that is interesting to look at. One item is her grandmother's antique adding machine. Old soda pop bottles, advertising signs, medicine bottles, cookie and cracker jars are also included.
Another favorite is the seasonal local bluegrass that Priddy's host during the months of February, May, October and December called Pickin' At Priddy's.Live local bluegrass at it's finest!! is their motto. This is a great small town event for the whole family and it actually feels like a family reunion. The October event features an old time auction where folks donate home-made scarves, baked goods and crafts that raises money for needy families during Christmas.
Other great attributes about Priddy's is the importance to Jane that you feel like a part of the family when you visit Priddy's and that you remember a simpler time when folks had time to talk to and care for one another. Jane can also share with you some of the best kept secrets about Stokes County and provide you with maps and visitors guides. Priddy's is truly a great destination. It's worth the trip to experience the taste, sight, sound and feel of the good ole days that is almost extinct but is thriving at Priddy's General Store. The store is opened Monday - Saturday 9am-6pm.
Contact Jane at (336) 593-8786 or visit their website at www.priddysgeneralstore.com and Jane will be glad to assist you in planning your trip. Did we mention she is on the Stokes County tourism board too.
Copyright © 2007-2017 Priddy's General Store. All rights reserved.
Priddy's General Store
2121 Sheppard Mill Road Danbury, North Carolina Phone: 336-593-8786
Copyright © 2007-2017 Priddy's General Store. All rights reserved.