Fifty years ago, the Yoho General Store in Solsberry was the hot spot in town where families would go to fill up on gasoline, buy groceries or cool off with the store’s famous ice cream.
“These windows open to the interior so they could serve ice cream through the windows, so you could walk up and get your ice cream cone,” President of CFC Properties Jim Murphy says as he explains what the store looked like in the 1960s.
The store has run down over the years, but CFC Properties, a Cook Group subsidiary, recently bought the property and is beginning renovations.
The building will include many of the things the old store was known for including a liars’ bench in front of the store where people can tell stories and a wood burning stove.
80-year-old Levon Yoho sold the store to CFC because his family couldn’t maintain it. Yoho’s brother, who still opened the store on occasion, died last year. Yoho says after that, his family didn’t have the money to put into it.
“We couldn’t change with the times quite as fast as we would have liked to, but I think the time has come when we will see a revitalization of the area here,” he says.
Cook Group CEO Carl Cook says his family has been interested in the area for some time.
“My wife grew up just a few miles down the road here so this is really her hometown so for her and my in-laws it’s a big deal that the store’s coming back,” he says.
CFC plans to open the store this fall.