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.
Now 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.”