menu search

These 10 Charming General Stores In Kentucky Will Make You Feel Nostalgic

One of the most nostalgic places in a town is the general store, especially in small towns. Decades ago, we’d find things like candy sticks, ice cream, homemade goods, and occasionally even a few VHS tapes for rent or sale. Friendly people were always behind the counter, or out stocking shelves with cans of chicken noodle or tomato soup. However, they never fail to give a friendly hello when the door jingles, letting them know someone just walked in.

These wonderful community stores are nothing like your average Thortons, Speedway, Chevron, etc… they’re an almost extinct place where locals stop by, not just to purchase goods, but to chat a moment. Some still have neighbors that sit a spell on the porch, a few even break out a banjo or guitar for fun.

Here are 10 General Stores that project that nostalgic feeling:

Penn’s General Store


This Gravel Switch store at 257 Penn Store Road has existed since 1844, and has been owned by the Penn family since 1845. This is the oldest General Store in the United States still owned and operated by the same family. The video provides a brief, but interesting history lesson. They not only have unique, handcrafted items, but also host a yearly outhouse race and writer celebration.

Old time general stores are becoming extinct due to having to compete with corporate entities like Walmart. The few that are left occasionally have slightly inflated prices on some items due to that struggle. We have to keep in mind that they’re keeping a part of history alive, but in order to do so, they have to pay the bills. It’s worth it to spend an extra 70 cents for soup or to buy homemade breakfast, or lunch. In doing so, we all aid in helping these endangered stores survival. Please share your memories of general stores, or your current favorite one to visit in comments.

Jenn Shockley
I am somewhat a cliche'. I grew up running around barefoot on a farm in Kentucky. I love writing, art, sunshine, all animals and my incredibly patient husband, who tolerates my "crazy animal lady" side.