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'Canada's Best Country Store' suddenly closes after 100 years

The marina and coffee and gelato shop are also closed

A business in Dorset, east of Huntsville, that billed itself as Canada's Best Country Store' has suddenly closed.

A sign on the Robinson’s General Store front door says "temporarily closed until further notice."

The 14,000 sq. ft store had been owned and operated by the Robinson family since 1921, but was sold a year and a half ago to Mike and Katie Hinbest.

See: 100 year old Iconic and beloved country store has new owners

But on January 8, employees were told they had been laid off. The marina, coffee, and gelato shop are also closed.

It's now at least a half hour drive for residents to the closest grocery store in Huntsville.

Concerns are being expressed on the Dorset Facebook page. Kristian Gracey writes "This is horrible for the short term. For the staff and the turnover to when it reopens. As for the owner and his family I think it’s best that we don’t flank them down. It’s a completely different world here in Dorset. I think there were good intentions but it was too much too soon. We should be arm and arm in this situation without harping on people."

Cliff Hatch wrote, "This is indeed very sad to hear. Been going there for 25 years. There’s clearly a viable business there — possibly on a slightly smaller scale. Either way, it’s crushing for the family and the local community."

Delphine Clerc added, "It is a difficult time for everyone, not just for the owners but also for all the local folks who are not used to driving too far to get food. Especially during winter, which is the hardest time. Hopefully, the situation will quickly get resolved."

Reports say financial troubles are being blamed, with rising interest rates as the prime culprit. When the store was put up for sale in 2020 it was listed for $6 million.

A call by BayToday to the store went unanswered.

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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