“Enter with a happy heart and stay awhile,” was the warm and artfully written message I was greeted with at the Marilla Country Store. Not knowing what to expect, I stepped onto the more than 170-year old wooden floor and gazed at aisles and shelves filled with gifts, crafts, and sweets. I immediately knew that I would, indeed, stay a while.
Owners and husband-and-wife-team Sandy and Paul Grunzweig bought the Marilla Country Store more than 20 years ago from Sandy’s parents (who previously managed it for 25 years). Located on Two Rod Road in the Town of Marilla, NY, they keep the nearly 4,000 square-foot shop feeling quaint and cozy.
The first floor is reminiscent of a traditional country store with a delicatessen, bulk candy and general groceries with some hand-made crafts and jewelry for sale. Local customers who have supported the store for many years can still be found buying staples like milk, bread and deli meats and cheeses, as they mingle with out of towners and newcomers (like me) who are there to peruse the diverse gift selection.
Sandy and Paul expanded the store by reopening the second floor and adding a gift shop and loft, offering hundreds of hand-made pieces like candles, ceramics and kitchen, dining and bath décor. The key to the store’s success is to keep it fresh and unique, Sandy explained. She prides herself on bringing in seasonal, high-quality and one-of-a-kind items that she and Paul can believe in. Products like hand-made accent furniture, birdhouses, and home décor come from Amish craftsmen and women in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio and wholesale markets around the country.
Decorate for all seasons at Marilla Country Store
She’s especially proud of the museum, which can be found on the second floor and houses decades of merchandise, store fixtures and memorabilia dating back to the store’s original opening date of 1851. The local community has even gotten involved, contributing pieces of the store’s past to be put on display.
The Marilla Country Store has a rich history that Sandy holds close to her heart. Each time she walks the store and sees an original drawer, shelve or fixture it brings her back to growing up as a young girl, spending time there with her parents. And as I walked around, I couldn’t help but feel the love and dedication put into every detail. Take some time to visit the Marilla Country Store. Your heart will be happy that you did.