Pushaw's Trading Post to close Dec. 29
South Hope — Pushaw's Trading Post in South Hope will close — at least temporarily — on Dec. 29, said owner Sandy Pushaw.
Sandy Pushaw, who owns the store with her husband Jerry and his sister Susan Pushaw, said the closure is due to a marked lull in business. She explained the Pushaw family is optimistic they will be able to re-open the store in the spring, though no decisions have been made yet.
"Hopefully this will be a temporary thing for the winter months," Pushaw explained. "In our opinion, due to the economy, things are very slow."
The Pushaw family purchased the store from Ed Greenrose in 2008, they changed the name to Pushaw's Trading Post at that time, according to previously published reports. The store was known as Fuller's Trading Post for about two decades prior to being christened Lincoln's Country Store.
One of the first owners was Marcellus Taylor. He bought the store in 1888 and it was named M.F. Taylor & Sons; a photo of the store in the 1860s appears in a book of Hope history, according to information provided by the Hope Historical Society in a previously published report.
Pushaw said a combination of factors — including the removal of gas pumps earlier in 2012 — have conspired to make business less profitable then it has been in past years. The pumps were removed when the gasoline tanks failed to pass state inspection, Pushaw explained. The cost of replacing the tanks was financially prohibitive, she said.
"If people need a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, they're going to get it when they get gas," she said.
Pushaw explained that the store is presently having an "everything must go sale" — clothing has been been reduced by 75 percent and most grocery items are on sale for as much as 50 percent off, she said.
Pushaw's Trading Post presently employees three people in addition to the family, Sandy and Jerry work at the store full-time, and Susan works at the store on her days off from her full-time job, said Sandy Pushaw. She said the final decision to close the doors was made as a family consensus shortly before Thanksgiving, and employees were made aware that they would be laid off.
"It was coming on for some time," she explained of the decision to close the store.
Pushaw said the family members will work through the winter doing inventory, and that they plan to apply for a liquor license once the state begins taking applications in January 2013. The store presently sells beer and wine, but Pushaw said they've had requests for liquor. In June 2011 Hope voters approved a measure to allow the town to authorize the state to permit the operation of state liquor stores and agency liquor stores on every day of the week, according to previously published reports.
Pushaw's Trading Post has already filed a letter of intent to apply for a liquor license, said Pushaw.
"It's a hopeful thing for us," she added.
Pushaw said feedback from the community served by Pushaw's Trading Post has been plentiful, and all has been negative regarding the closure of the store.
"They hate to see us go," she said.
Pushaw's Trading Post will be open for business through Dec. 29.
Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org