Downtown Lakeland’s General Store

Special to Lakeland Local by Petra Norris

If you have not discovered Downtown Lakeland’s newest old store that has everything — from Band-Aids & Fix-A-Flat to Marlboros & Toiletries, Ice Cream, Chick-O-Sticks & Moonpies to Gift Baskets, Pet Toy’s & Ice Cold Grape Crush, even Nostalgic Toys (no batteries required) & Historical Lakeland gifts — why don’t you join me and discover it now as I share with you the nostalgia of Lakeland, Florida’s only “real” General Store. Terisa Glover and Terry Lauretta, long time friends, decided in 2007 that it was now or never to open up what Downtown Lakeland really needed – Groceries, Sundries & Memories.

Located at 125 South Kentucky Avenue in historical downtown Lakeland, the store is within walking distance from Munn Park and Lake Mirror and nestled near children’s museum, hotels, restaurants, cafés and specialty shops like clothing, antiques, pottery and art galleries. Folks from all over the world have visited and purchased items from this General Store. People stop by and ask for directions or have questions, which are kindly answered with a smile.

Within recent years, Lakeland’s downtown revitalization program brought new businesses, apartments, condos and lofts. People spend their lunch time to stop by grab a snack and say hello to Terisa and Sparky. I asked Terisa what makes this store so special to the people who live and work downtown Lakeland? She replied that the store is also therapy to people that work in downtown Lakeland. She watches folks who are a little bit stressed, come to her store to sit outside in the rocking chair. Starting by intensely rocking back and forth and soon soothing to the gentle glide of the rocking chair before heading back to work.

So, if you are in need for some therapy, why don’t you “Come By and Rock a Spell”, have a session with “Sparky the Therapist” or play a game of checkers.

What makes this store so unique? It’s not about pricing or the extra value you would get if you compare The General Store with Wal-Mart or Target. It’s about personality of the people working in this store and about the store itself, a small locally owned business. It’s about patronizing because you want it to be successful.

Location, location, location….. if you happen to be living, working, or spending time downtown, you will soon realize that the nearest Wal-Mart, Publix and Target are not within walking distance, especially if you forgot to bring home milk or bread. Why not leave behind the stress of driving your car, contribute to the environment and your health by walking to the store. The very friendly clerk will surely appreciate your patronage.

Known for carrying items such as milk, bread, sodas, toys – no batteries required, the general store also has home grown items, such as Lakeland’s Countrybees honey, homemade salsas and grilling salsas like “Hot Wachula’s”.

One of Lakeland Florida unique gems “The General Store” is open Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Their phone number is (863) 688-5900 and they also have a MySpace page.

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Find Petra Norris’ original General Store article (with photos!) on her website: Lakeland Real Estate Blog. Norris is a Lakeland-based Realtor.