“That store means a lot to a lot of people - me included!” Said Tyler Brinkerhoff when asked about his recent purchase of the old Country Store along Glendale’s main drag. Tyler and his wife Esther Brinkerhoff are in the process of bringing the store back to its former glory, with hopes of seeing it become a bustling landmark all over again.
From left to right, photos by Ty Gant:
Esther and Tyler Brinkerhoff are bringing some of Glendale’s history back to life. Photos by Ty Gant.
Ice cream, candies and tchotchkes, Brink’s Country Store has you covered.
A historic Glendale storefront.
“It’s a historic building, one of Glendale’s first as we understand it,” say the Brinkerhoffs. “We want to preserve the story of it and the beauty of it.”
Tyler is a Glendale native, and fondly recalls visiting the country store back when it was under the ownership of the Spencers for ice cream and candy. The couple state that the sense of coming home is one of the reasons they came back to purchase the store in the first place. “Family is definitely a factor … [Tyler] has lots of family down here. We were already looking for a business opportunity in the area. The country store came up for sale a few years ago and when someone else scooped it up, we thought we’d missed our chance; but by a little bit of the luck of the draw, we heard from the rumor mill the new owners were looking to move. We went in and said ‘hey, we heard you might be selling,’ and they were a little surprised to see us so soon and so eager, but they were ready to sell. It was a fortuitous chance for us.”
When asked about their plans for the country store, Esther responded “The next step is remodeling. We’re getting the place all cleaned up and cleaned out, then we’re going to look at how best to utilize the space … it hasn’t been fully utilized for years, and we’re looking to see how we can use every square foot without changing the history of the building.” Esther cited the community’s positive feedback on the process of getting the place shipshape as the highlight of owning the store so far: “People are really supportive. I’ve had people come in and mention how much better the old place smells - the fact that other people come in and recognize how much work that has gone into it is what keeps me sane. It’s nice to have something as simple as the smell of the place being welcoming to people.”
Plans for the future include a place to sit down and get something to eat; according to Tyler, the goal for the restaurant part is “something social, where we can talk to people and people can see each other.” Community is a major part of the identity of the country store, and that is a facet the Brinkerhoffs are interested in preserving. Says Esther, “People remember Tyler - we’ll have people come in just to welcome him home.” “Hopefully those memories are more good than bad!” Tyler added. “We’re just happy and honored to be here, and we appreciate the community’s support. Hopefully we’ll see lots of people coming in, whether they buy anything or not, just to come in and say hi and see how things are going.”
The Country Store is currently open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday - Saturday, with plans on expanding the hours as the improvements finish up and the owners can add more staff. The Brinkerhoffs update the store’s progress regularly on its Facebook page, “Brink’s Country Store.”