Opy’s, the “not so general” store, opened on Oct. 13, 2017, and has since celebrated its one year anniversary.
“When we opened a little over a year ago, our goal was to provide Ellington and the county with something that they need that’s close to them,” said Alyssa Smith, owner.
Alyssa and her husband, Brock, bought the house at the four-way stop in Ellington, remodeled it, and opened Opy’s.
Before opening Opy’s, the building was once a feed store and an old library.
“We had to do some work with the floor joists, sheetrock the walls and paint, and some roof work also needed to be done,” said Smith.
“When we opened, we wanted to provide the people of Ellington with anything they might need in a pinch.”
“We also have a man room filled with outdoor supplies, reloading equipment, knives made by my husband, and we also raise Dexter cattle, so we sell pasteurized and grass finished beef by the cut,” said Smith.
Opy’s also tries to cater to the cyclists that come through town.
“We have cold drinks, energy bars, and any tools they might need,” said Smith. “We carry the staples. Meat, wellness, batteries, and little things like that we always keep in stock, as well as seasonal items and unique gift items.”
Despite only being open for one year, the Smiths have actually been in the Ellington community for three years.
“We lost our son in 2014, and that’s a big reason why we decided to move here,” said Smith. “We want everything we do to help people and we want it to matter, so opening Opy’s just made sense.
“It was a need of the community and we wanted to fulfill that need.”
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“We didn’t move here thinking of opening the store, but it just kind of happened,” said Smith. “The whole thing has been a huge blessing to us and we hope it’s a blessing to the community as well.”
In Ellington, the nearest place to get supplies or anything is about an hour away, so Smith tries to have several odds and ends that the community may need quickly.
“My favorite thing is interacting with and being a part of the community. We love it here and are happy to help this community,” said Smith.
“The hardest thing is trying to keep in stock what our customers want. We constantly add new things and trade things out to give our customers variety, and also find out what they want.”
Even though Opy’s has only been open for a little over a year, the general store is gaining much attention, inside the community and in other surrounding towns.
“We have had several people in town come visit us, but also have a lot of people that haven’t been in yet,” said Smith.
“Our sign has really started to draw people in and we are also starting to get people from Piedmont. We have our steady people, travelers, and several cyclists.”
Smith also offers a herbal class at Opy’s to those wanting to learn more about herbal health and wellness.
“I have tincture class where we take herbs and pull out the natural properties in them. The class is free if they buy the supplies to do it, or a small charge to just take the class,” said Smith.
“We are also getting ready to start a soapmaking class that we are pretty excited about, and we also have a yarn club that meets twice a month.”
The Smiths invite everyone to come by Opy’s, say hello, and see what they have to offer.
“You never know what you’re going to find here,” said Smith.