By Ginna Hensel
Where customers are family, the merchandise is unique and the food is homecooked, Ellicottville Country Store and Antiques is a beloved place by many.
Both a local joint and a stop for tourists, owner Laura McLeode has created an atmosphere where all feel welcomed.
Rows of knick-knacks that catch the eye, and name-brand toys such as Melissa and Doug, the Country Store is a one-stop-shop for anything unique. Homemade jams, unusual good, and penny candy can be found throughout the store which gives the place a “homey feel.”
There are books, jewelry, candles and quirky decorations in the downstairs of the building. Upstairs in the loft is a treasure trove of antiques that line the walls. Vendors bring their jewels, pride and trophies to McLeode’s store.
Off to the side, a diner sits with dishes true to home cooking. All American breakfasts with pancakes, eggs and sausage are some of the popular choices. With hot and cold sandwiches served with soup for lunch until close. All dishes are sure to satisfy any palette in need of some home cooking.
The story of the Ellicottville Country Store and Antiques began about eight years when Laura and her husband, Tom McLeode, purchased the building and surrounding land.
“With the history of the junction and the size of the building I thought the location was a perfect place for a miniature antique mall,” Laura McLeode said. “The history is what attracted me to this business and this particular location. Our building has been standing for over 150 years. It is just amazing, everything about it.”
In fact, before it became the beloved Country Store and Antiques, the building had a much different use as it was a Harvey Davis Dealer Shop.
“Our first couple of years in business we would have people stop and visit and tell stories of purchasing their first bikes here,” McLeod said. “It was truly like I was keeping the history alive repurposing the building.”
With heavy hearts, the McLeodes recently announced the Ellicottville Country and Antiques Store will be closing Feb. 1, 2020. Due to family circumstances, McLeode has listed the building for sale and sadly informs customers that she will be closing.
The store is currently offering discounts on all of its merchandise and antiques as everything must go by the closing date.
McLeode was eager to add that she would like to “hand down the reins to another history lover.”
“It is hard to let this place go,” she added, “it has been my life for the past eight years, but I have to put family first. I would love to see the store continue to flourish if someone was willing to take over.”
A loss to the community, the legacy of the Ellicottville Country Store and Antiques will be remembered in the hearts of locals and travelers from afar.