General stores are a part of the fabric of American culture. Buffalo is lucky enough to have a handful of these retailers remaining that are a throwback to another era. One visit and you’ve transported yourself to a much simpler time when five and dime actually meant everything was for a nickel or 10 cents. As we head into the holiday season, here’s a roundup of the best old-fashioned “general stores” to add to your bucket list!
Marilla Country Store, 1673 Two Rod Road, Marilla
The Marilla Country Store, built in 1851, has been in continuous operation for more than 165 years. The original gaslights and wooden floors are still in use today and add a beautiful old charm to this legendary emporium. This general store is a veritable playground for adults and kids, with shelf after shelf brimming with bulk foods, candy, gifts, jewelry, and home décor. Make sure to head over to their museum where you can view the store’s history, including antique store fixtures and old-timey inventory. Check out the infamous story about the 1917 attempted robbery. This tale remains a mystery, adding to Marilla’s intriguing history!
Vidler’s 5 and 10, 676 Main Street, East Aurora
Celebrating 87 years in business, Vidler’s is a 5 & 10 store located in East Aurora. Spanning four buildings on Main Street, they have twelve different departments of fun, featuring anything and everything you can think of. Walking in you’ll see baskets of penny candy, smell their popcorn machine and then stumble upon nostalgic toys that will put a smile on your face. A tantalizing, magical mix of retro and new, you will re-discover your “inner child.” This 5 & 10 store is where happiness lives, because it’s Christmas 24/7.
Kelly’s Country Store, 3121 Grand Island Blvd, Grand Island
Half-way between Niagara Falls and Buffalo you will find Kelly’s Country Store, a 3rd generation family-owned business established in 1969. Best known for their enormous selection of candy and all things Christmas, Kelly’s features more than 500 different shapes of glorious homemade chocolate. Visitors come from miles around to shop their incredible selection of decorations and homemade goods. And before long, it’ll be time to get your jingle on and let the holiday merriment begin!