Kevin and Debby Neubert are owners of the Belmont General Store in Mt. Holly, Vt.
Mt. Holly It all sounds idyllic: buy an historic Vermont general store out in the country, meet new friends, and keep warm next to a potbelly stove during the winter months. It’s the stuff our collective “Mayberry RFD” dreams are made of, right? Sure, except for the part about hard work, balancing a business budget, surviving a nasty summer flood, and not relying on local skiers without much of a winter to speak of.
Kevin and Debby Neubert, the new owners of the Belmont General Store, are living the “Mayberry RFD” lifestyle others only imagine in day dreams.
The couple isn’t looking back on their lives BGS—that is, Before the General Store. And they certainly wouldn’t trade their lives with anyone else. They say operating a country store is indeed romantic, but it’s also a lot tougher than it looks to the casual observer.
“After a challenging first fall and winter, we are celebrating our first year as new owners,” said Debby. “On June 13, we began the day with a cake-cutting ceremony in the store.”
Cheerful customers and several VIPs were on hand to toast the couple and add their neighborly support.
Jim Harrison, president of the Vermont Grocers Association and Vermont State Rep. Dennis Devereux were in attendance.
Celebrating their business anniversary, the Neuberts are thankful for a good first year despite all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune thrown their way. The Neuberts look back on one of the most challenging years in Vermont and they are grateful for the unquestioning support of the Mount Holly community.
“In a year when general stores in the state are closing their doors due to economic issues, the Town of Mount Holly and the Village of Belmont have embraced its general store. They have supported the transition of ownership with open arms, too,” said Kevin. “We were able to survive Tropical Storm Irene, poor fall foliage, and a bad winter.” The Neuberts certainly didn’t go it alone. The rest of Mt. Holly experienced the same man-made and natural disasters of 2011.