General store, bait shop reopens in Rock Ridge

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After a rocky start, a mainstay in the Rock Ridge community is back in business.

Amanda Rivera along with several partners opened the Rock Ridge General Store, Bait & Boutique about a year ago following a “retro renovation” to restore the shop’s rural, rustic charm. Originally, Rivera wanted to open a grill or ice cream shop in an adjacent building, but regulatory hurdles squashed that plan.

“We still have the hand-dipped ice cream, but officials were adamant about not letting us do the grill,” she said. “We decided to rent it to someone else who wanted to run it without that dream.”

Manager Narinder Singh did a few of his own renovations and reopened recently with an emphasis on bait and catering to the other needs of residents bound for Buckhorn Reservoir.

“It really is a nice, convenient location for fishers and campers,” Rivera said. “If you are going to the lake, it is easy to stop by, but if you are needing some general store-type items, you can stop in and get things you wouldn’t find in a regular convenience store.”

The “hometown feel” has been retained through the changes as well as the business’ social media and online presence.

“Everyone that has come in has enjoyed how nice it looks,” Rivera said. “They’ve commented that they thought it was a completely different building, but we just cleaned it up and renovated it. The retro renovation kept it looking older but bright LED lights, new windows and white paint really brightened it up.”

For more information on the shop, visit www.facebook.com/rockridgestore/.

Calling all Entrepreneurs

The Upper Coastal Plain Development Corp. is seeking entrepreneurs interested in participating in a Jan. 27 contest for a shot at $18,500 in grants.

Entries are being accepted through Nov. 30 at www.dreamfest2018.info with detailed business plans due by Jan. 4. Six finalists will compete during a live competition during DreamFest where judges will award prizes ranging from $10,000 to $2,500. There is also a $1,00 prize for the best business plan written and submitted by a high school or college student.

Extra! Extra!

While the Big Harold’s Diner in Lucama remains unchanged, the location in historic downtown Wilson recently shuttered. Owner Harold Anderson didn’t return calls for details about the closure, but the restaurant is closed and “for sale” signs are up in the window.

Property owner Gaynell Stallings is selling the property at 126 Tarboro St. for $245,000 with all the fixtures and equipment included.

Got an idea for news to include in next week’s Main Street Minute? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 252-265-7821 or bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com.