It smells fantastic in Randy & Steve’s The New General Store on Main Street in Ellicott City.
Maybe it’s the Green Market Purveying Co. candles, or maybe it’s the cooler-turned-culinary herb garden. But the smell is … aah.
“I don’t even notice it anymore,” co-owner Randy Neely said, as he gave a tour of the recently-opened shop at 8249 Main Street.
Former Good Life Market owners Neely and Steve Archuleta opened the store on Sept. 29 in the space formerly occupied by Yates Market. Though there are hints of Yates – which had been in business for more than 125 years – the space is decidedly their own.
“Do you remember this?” Neely asked. He was standing in front of a wood-framed greenhouse that takes center stage in the shop. It was a 1904-era walk-in cooler, he said.
Yates Market owner Betty Jacobs kept sodas in the cooler, Neely said, but he and Archuleta have transformed it into an herb garden abloom with lavender and rosemary and other fragrant edibles.
“I said to Steve ‘are you sure we can grow herbs inside?’ But look,” Neely said, opening the glass door, “There they are.”
The storefront has certainly undergone a transformation, but it is not yet complete. Still on its way is a deli which will be stocked with local foods, and a “grab and go” type refrigerator with pre-made sandwiches as well as staples such as bread, butter and milk.
Neely said that he didn’t want to put a date on the deli’s opening – but it won’t be the end of October as they’d initially planned.
Until then, however, there are plenty of housewares and edibles at The New General Store worth checking out – candles, coffee mugs and candy are for sale alongside decorative dishes and drinks.
There are lollipops made with local honey and fragrant hand soaps and even deodorant and cold drinks.
Business has been great, Neely said, and the store hasn’t yet had an official grand opening. “We want to wait until the picture is complete.”