Montgomery Grocery Store is the closest grocery store to where Tom and I are living while we work at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Ranger Lucas told us about it on our first day of work so we stopped by there shortly after. We have been back several times, but not usually for groceries.
Montgomery Grocery Store has been in business, run by Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery, since 1955. You can watch a video about their store here. The store is more like an old-fashioned general store than a modern grocery store. For one thing, it is very low on groceries. They have in-season fruit and vegetables grown by a local farmer. Other than that, they have a couple of aisles of canned goods and convenience foods. More like what you would find at a gas station convenience store. About twice the cost of getting it at a regular grocery store. I bought a half gallon of milk there once and it cost $5.
But we don’t really go to Montgomery for the groceries. We go there because we can find things that we can’t find other places. Mrs. Montgomery told me once that she wanted a grocery store and her husband wanted a hardware store. Consequently, the current Montgomery is a general store with one or two of just about anything. Tom bought an axe there. I found Joy dishwashing soap in Montgomery – very difficult to find in a grocery store in Ohio.
We took Sandy, Eric, Bob, Cheryl and Megan there when they visited in June and they all loved it. We were all poking around in the corners, finding interesting things. Bob, who doesn’t walk much, wandered off. Next thing I knew, he had a soft-serve ice cream cone. Which was the first time I had noticed the ice cream maker on one of the shelves.
They have a pet section and a tourist section. There is a winter clothing section and a place to buy stuffed deer heads. Knives are for sale over the soft-serve ice cream. Weed whackers are for sale next to the soda pop. Horse gear is across the aisle from the Lodge cast iron. Whatever you want, or need, Montgomery’s probably has it.
They even have a deli / sandwich shop in the back. It looks like a storage room. But, if you know the secret password, they will serve you the sandwich of the day. I’ve heard their sausage biscuits are homemade fresh every morning and are very good. They are always sold out by the time we head over there.
Montgomery Grocery Store is a quirky, interesting, and fun place to shop. You never know what you will find. Except for Mrs. Montgomery. She is usually seated at the cash register, ready to sell anything you need and call you “darlin'” in the process.