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home : news : arts & culture June 26, 2019

5/6/2019 10:47:00 AM
Rebecca Pate Opens Country Store In Reepsville Area
Striving to recapture that old-timey feel of the past

Thomas Lark
Staff Writer

LINCOLNTON, N.C.––Trying to bring back that old-fashioned feel of country stores can be mighty hard nowadays.

But reclaiming that sense of days gone by is just what local businesswoman Rebecca Pate set out to do when she recently opened Rebecca’s Country Store. As Pate told The Herald on Thursday, the store is located in the former Hampton’s Gas Station in the rural Reepsville area, just outside Lincolnton. It’s just a few miles down the road from where the Lincolnton native now lives on a farm bequeathed to her and her brother by their grandfather, the late Bob Canipe.

“The store is a convenience store with a country feel,” said Pate, citing just one example of country-store qualities her establishment features: she’ll offer produce from local farmers all season long.

The daughter of Jim and Debbie Pate, she earned an associate’s degree at Gaston College. The young businesswoman has a lot of business experience, including a year at Winn-Dixie and 17 years at Staples. At the office supply chain, she began as a part-time cashier and then spent five years as a store manager.

So what led Pate to this new business venture?

“The inspiration came some from the past,” she said. “As a child, there were many memories of stopping at Hampton’s and getting a snack or ice cream during the summer. This store was a landmark in the local community. I have other memories of other local stores, too, where I would have dinner or breakfast weekly with my late grandfather. Being in a small community, when you go into a local store, everyone knows you by your name. And it’s a much more family-like atmosphere than in larger stores. When I heard that the store was coming up for sale, I wanted to keep its family theme going, and I pitched this idea to my family. We live just a few miles away as well, and it’s a nice convenience to run to the end of the road for the one thing you’ve forgotten! So you don’t have to spend 15 minutes to drive to town for that forgotten milk, bread and so on. We prayed and moved forward on the store, and a year later, we are finally open for business.”

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Pate stays very active, even when she isn’t working. 

“I’ve always been a traveler, and I’ve always enjoyed exploring new cities, states and countries,” she said. “One thing about traveling is finding those local spots where it may not always be on the tourist path but where you are supporting local business owners. I also enjoy being active, and so you may find me running or cycling in the neighborhoods around the store in the early mornings. Farming has become a hobby in the last few years after my grandfather passed away. We have some beef cattle and miniature cows that my family and I raise together.”

Think you’d like to start up your own small business? Pate has some words of wisdom for you.

“My advice for any other young people wanting to start their own business is to set a goal and make a plan,” she said, “and be adaptable. Sometimes your plans may change or take longer then you originally thought. But it will still happen if you stay focused. Pray. You’ll need lots of prayer. If God is in it, it will happen in His time. Have a great support system. This is truly what will help you stay focused: family support. Not everyone has this. But if you do, it is an amazing thing, when everyone can jump in and pitch in to make things happen. I also have a great group of friends that have supported me throughout this process, from those who made encouraging phone calls to the ones who assisted in the work we did to switch over to the new store.”

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