Why You Should Visit Wilbur's General Store in Little Compton,
Wilbur General Store in Little Compton, Rhode Island.
Article by Eric J. Hurwitz. Article created on June 15, 2017.
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They don't make them like the Wilbur's General Store anymore.
Thanks goodness for that, in the very best sense.
A classic, historic New England general store, the Wilbur's General
dates back to 1893 and remains, to this very day, the "anchor store" of
tiny yet beautiful Little Compton. From the outside, it looks as
small as most convenient stores, but take a walk inside and it's
surprisingly spacious. Eight rooms ultimately reveal everyone you need,
and then some.
This locally-owned local retail treasure with the green awning, benches
and American flag outside actually surpasses the amount of merchandise
I have seen in any general store in the southern New England area.
Wilbur's General Store not only stocks a full grocery store, and offers
great baked goods, specialty foods and an impressive meat counter with
fresh meats cut to order, but also sells books, cards, clothing, gifts,
tableware and toys. They also feature a very good hardware department
section. It's like many of the "nooks and crannies" variety stores I
loved while on vacation as a kid where you would never know what the
next step would bring but innately knowing it was all good.
It's great that a local store fills a purpose for year-round and
seasonal residents, as well as travelers, but the Wilbur's General
offers another element that can never be fully measured solely through
the merchandise. The importance of community is probably the most
wonderful feeling here. Locals make this their place to shop, converse
and connect. Feeling like one big family gathering rather than just
another retail shopping experience, the staff harks back to the days of
prioritizing customer service, pride of ownership and employment. The
pace is leisurely, the local vibe small-town friendly and the prospects
for a gentler, kinder world well intact in a world that seems to have
gone in the other direction. It's a beautiful feeling shopping in a
warm and inviting place that temporarily takes you away from fast pace
of our society just a few miles up the road. Friendly voices fill the
otherwise still, silent vibe of the store rather than some loud, piped
in streaming music with songs you never wanted to hear again.
While it is true that very few stores in this coastal area fill several
purposes under one roof, the Wilbur's General Store would still be the
go-to place even if more retail saturated the pristine, lovely
FarmCoast area (where farms meet the sea in a wonderful way). Nothing
could surpass authenticity and sincerity and when it's combined with a
store that, as mentioned, fills an important need, well, that's just
hard to beat. Proof: it has been nearly a year since going to the
Wilbur's General Store and it still lingers prominently in my New
travel memories. Now, when was the last time a general retail store did
Wilbur's General Store is located at 50 The
Commons in Little Compton, RI. Tel. (401) 635-2356. Be sure to also
check out the Wilbur's General
Store Facebook page!
Additionally, check out the section on the FarmCoast in our 6 hidden travel gems in New England article.
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VisitingNewEngland.com Publisher Eric Hurwitz
Town Greens -- Discover New England's first travel attractions:
Best Diners in New England
-- If you love
classic diners, New England has them! In my book, I write in detail on
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