Owned and operated by the same family since 1921, this famous general store has become a major tourist attraction and is a "must see" for any visitor to the Haliburton or Muskoka area.
In the beginning, the store was a 1200 square foot traditional general store, there to service the logging industry and the few locals. It struggled through the depression, then the war years, until 1950 when the first building addition was constructed. After that, whenever the store was able to accumulate a bit of money, another expansion was built. Now, 15 additions later, the store has grown to over 15,000 square feet of retail space.
In the 1980s, our customers voted us "Canada's Best Country Store", we joined the Foodtown program and became a Home Hardware dealer.
1st Generation: Harry & Marguerite Robinson. Harry was born and raised in Bracebridge, Marguerite (nee Norton) in Dorset. They both worked in the store right up until their deaths in 1975 and 1976 respectively.
2nd Generation: Brad Robinson (their son) grew up in the store, and has worked there his entire life. He still works full time in the store.
3rd Generation: Joanne Robinson (Brad's daughter) grew up in Dorset, worked in the store growing up, but moved away after graduating from university. In 1991, she returned to Dorset to work in the store, bringing along her husband, Willie Hatton, and their new baby, Ryan. Joanne and Willie both work full time in the store; Joanne is mostly in the office while Willie runs the grocery section.
4th Generation: Ryan (Joanne and Willie's son) now works part time in the store.
The store is open 7 days a week, year round. Being a popular cottage and tourist area, the store bustles in the summer (July and August). In the winter, the pace is much quieter and more relaxed.
The original building is part of the Drygoods section now (look for the tin ceiling). We've tried to keep the old-fashioned atmosphere (you will still see a birchbark canoe and polar bear skin hanging on the ceiling) along with modern conveniences (like scanning cash registers at the front end).