A hundred years ago, every Main Street in America had its general store. These small, often family-run outfits sold everyday essentials — pantry provisions, home goods, booze — to blue-collar Americans who had nowhere else to shop. But towns got bigger, or they grew hollow. And most of these pastoral storefronts lost out to big-box emporiums like Walmart or Amazon.
In places like the Hudson Valley, however, where residents place a premium on nostalgia and the simple life, the spirit of the general store carries on. The region’s eclectically stocked boutiques still specialize in local, handmade goods for everyday life. More importantly, they preserve an increasingly rare trait in modern retail: a sense of place.
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