- Associated Press - Sunday, December 14, 2014

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) - The community of Holland regained its original general store this month when the third and fourth generation reopened Goode’s Grocery for the first time in 39 years.

When customers walk through the doors of Goode’s Grocery, they’re welcomed by an old fashioned Coca-Cola cooler that says, “here’s the real thing.”

And Goode’s Grocery is the real thing.

From the original scuffed wooden counter tops to the glass candy cases and the more than 100 year old Harmograph Talking Machine playing Nat King Cole records in the corner, the store takes customers back to a simpler time when people would come to the store just to talk with their neighbors and friends or buy a soda and drink it on the front porch, the Log Cabin Democrat (https://bit.ly/1vDVKlL ) reported.

The store first became Goode’s when N.E. Goode, known simply as “Goode,” and his wife Vinnie moved into the house next door and started running the small, shotgun house as a family grocery store in the early 1900s.

The logging industry was prominent, and many families were moving to central Arkansas at the time.

The community was incorporated in 1998, and is home to about 600 people today.

One of those residents is Goode’s granddaughter Susan Goode Moore.

Moore moved from a 3,500 square-foot home in Conway to her grandparents’ home in Holland four years ago with her late husband John R. Moore in hopes of finding a simpler way of life.

“A lot of people are looking for a different kind of place to just get away,” she said. “We want a part of what they had - that simplicity.”

John died unexpectedly in a car accident on Ackline Road in January 2012. After John’s death, Moore said she felt God had guided her to her family’s land in Holland.

Moore’s daughter Christie Oliver also dreams of one day escaping the rat race, and moving to her family’s land to build a home with husband Erik and their three children Jayden, 13, Macie, 6, and Sadie 4.

In the meantime, the Olivers have helped Moore reopen Holland’s only store.

“It’s been a family dream more of hers and mine than anybody to reopen the store,” Oliver said.

The store closed in 1973, shortly after the death of “Goode.” At the time, his two sons could not take on the family business, preoccupied with careers and families of their own.

N.E. Goode Jr., known as “Junior,” was the top district sales manager with Ralston-Purina Co. and Houston Goode was unable to run the store from shrapnel remnants in his shoulder blades from WWII.

“Grandmother was an astute business woman herself, but when granddad died, she died emotionally,” Moore said.

Moore also lost her brother Joe Goode in 2008, and knows the family farm will be a blessing to his two children Matthew and Katherine.

Oliver remembers stories from her childhood about the store, like how the Mayor has said her great-granddad used to slip him a piece of Petit Jean Bologna when no one was looking.

Or how she and her brother Jason spent summer days digging up Coke bottles and bottle caps around the front porch, where “Goode” had used the caps as a reinforcer for the dirt driveway.

When Moore used to talk to her grandfather about sweeping the dust from the dirt road off the shelves, he would tell her, “If you get started it will look ugly for real,” so the dirt remained part of the store for decades, she said.

When the mother and daughter duo began the task of fixing up the old family store, they cleared 200-300 pounds of dirt dauber nests from the ceilings and under the counters.

“It’s taken a lot of work to get here,” Oliver said.

Oliver recently said her son Jayden came into the store and looked around all dreamy-eyed and said, “We’re really going to do this.”

“It was a moment that really stuck out to us,” Moore said.

With the nearest convenience store about eight miles away, the Goode women are opening the store as a resource for the community, as well as a place to live out their passions.

There’s a reward about having your own land and being in business for yourself, Moore said.

“You don’t have to follow the corporate rules. There’s that freedom and that’s part of being American - you can do whatever you can come up with,” she said.

In addition to offering snacks and toiletries, Moore and Oliver have stocked the store with antiques and accessories.

“We love to antique and treasure hunt,” Moore said. “We’re always looking for something special.”

Moore is the former owner of Conway Antique and Decor, now home to A Southern Tradition on Oak Street. Moore is hoping the store will become a “hot spot map dot” for antiquers.

The two store owners also aspire to put a sandwich shop in the back, but something has to sell before that can happen, Moore said.

“We’re just going to evolve as we can afford it,” she said.

Regular store hours will be Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store is located about 15 minutes from Conway, Vilonia and Greenbrier at 345 Sawmill Road.

The mother and daughter are encouraging Holland family lineages to bring in copies of old family photos to preserve the history of the community.

“We’ve heard many people have pictures in front of the store,” Oliver said.

While Moore said she’s proud of her accomplishment of getting the family store back open after nearly 40 years, she’s even more proud of her family’s pride in their family farm and family business.

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Information from: Log Cabin Democrat, https://www.thecabin.net

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