Bottrell family buys iconic Country Store on San Juan Ridge

14238184_1275354985831887_4592908751284215806_nThe Bottrell family, longtime owners of Mother Truckers on the San Juan Ridge and Natural Selections in Grass Valley, has bought the iconic Country Store, also on the Ridge.

A grand opening celebration is planned for October 1, 3-8 p.m., at The Country Store at 19008 Tyler Foote Rd., a mile past the North Columbia Schoolhouse. The community party includes live music and benefits the North San Juan Fire Department.

“The Country Store long served as a neighborhood market where locals, as well as campers and visitors to Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, could gather, as well as pick up a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread on the way home from work,” said Diana Pasquini of San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center. “Also housing a certified commercial kitchen, the Country Store often served fresh hot and cold foods prepared on the premises. Plagued by fire and the recent death of its owner-operator, the deserted little store sat vacant for several years.”

Now the store is back in business, thanks to the Bottrells. The  Country Store is the family’s third community store. Mother Truckers is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and Natural Selection is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

country-storeNow retired, Bruce and Lucy Bottrell have placed management of the stores in the hands of their son, Eli, and his wife, Sara. “I grew up going there (the Country Store),” Eli told the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center. “It was a viable business and I figured we’d reopen it and fill a need on the Ridge. The kitchen allows us to do things we can’t do at Mother Truckers. The Country Store provides lots of new opportunities.”

Eli and Sara exemplify Nevada County natives who left for the “big city” and returned to our community to launch successful businesses. “Bring them home” has been the motto of local economic development proponents, and we wholeheartedly support the idea.

Like the Bottrells, others we’ve written about include John Arbaugh, who runs Emily’s Catering & Cakes with his spouse, Emily Scott; and James Arbaugh, who owns Stucki Jewelers with his spouse, Nicole. Both John and James are Nevada County natives.

Eli, anNevada Union graduate, grew up working at Mother Truckers. Eli and Sara met at Chico State. They lived in the Bay Area, but decided they preferred the Nevada County lifestyle.

Now the Bottrells are building on the foundation of Mother Truckers and Natural Selections.  In addition to stocking groceries and other staples, the Country Store is offering a selection of fresh salads, sandwiches, burritos and other fresh foods. The store’s kitchen manager, Ethan Hunter, is providing “an organic and natural selection of hot and cold grab and go items.”

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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8 Responses to Bottrell family buys iconic Country Store on San Juan Ridge

  1. Karla Arens says:

    In 1977 Paula and Marc Turtletaub opened the Country Store at North Columbia as a cafe and small market. One Friday nights I cooked Indian food for the cafe and for a short while the dinners were pretty well attended. My cooking repertoire was somewhat limited but I did know how to make authentic samosas, pakoras, dahl, lassi, chaporis and much more. I think this venture lasted less than a year- not the right time or place. The Turtletaubs moved out of the area and went on to open a more successful business,The Money Store. After he dabbled in the financial world, Marc’s career took yet another turn and he became a Hollywood producer of many notable films but probably Little Miss Sunshine is the most famous. BTW, Marc and Paul first came to this area to be part of the Ananda community, had two sons and lots of pet rats. Actually, they started with just two which became many. So a little history of the Country Store- all this before Eli was born.

    • jeffpelline says:

      Karla,
      What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. TGIF.

    • Lucy Bottrell says:

      Great to hear your story Karla. The Turtletaubs are wonderful people. The scene that summer was local and vibrant. I remember a few dignitaries coming to those delicious dinners and events, including a governor. Just for the record, Eli was born that fun summer of 1977. We have a picture of him in Bruce’s arms on a table under the walnut tree in the backyard of The Country Store. A little more history, the realtor who helped us buy our Ridge property back then was Serge, Karla’s husband. 🙂

  2. Annie Fox says:

    Best of luck!

  3. Karla Arens says:

    Lucy, thanks for your memories of those amazing times!

  4. Ed Rosenberg says:

    What a great article. Best of luck to Eli and Sara. I can’t wait to come up and have a gourmet meal from their new enterprise.
    Uncle Ed

  5. jeffpelline says:

    The New York Times’ tagline is “all the news that’s fit to print.” The Union newspaper’s tagline is “better late than never”: http://www.theunion.com/news/24052409-113/all-in-the-family-mother-truckers-natural-selection

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