Berkey family acquires landmark general store

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Sarah Parker and her mother, Robin Ford Parker, talk with Ed Weaver of Griswold Realty about their plans for the store.
Sarah Parker and her mother, Robin Ford Parker, talk with Ed Weaver of Griswold Realty about their plans for the store.

Robin Ford Parker is excited to be reviving a place she has fond childhood memories of.

“When I learned that this business was for sale through Ed Weaver’s sign, I started thinking about possibilities for me, my daughter Sarah and my sister, Nancy Pappas. We grew up coming to this store to buy candy and ice cream,” Parker remembered. “We decided that this would be something we could do,” she said. The store is located on Sylvania Metamora Road at the corner of St. Rt. 295.

“My family and I saw this store as a real opportunity. We are located on the main road in Berkey and at a major crossroads for people traveling to all of the local lakes in the area. We are also very convenient for those who live in the outlying area who need an item for a recipe or just would rather not make the drive to Sylvania or Toledo,” Parker pointed out.

According to Weaver, who works with Griswold Realty and was the listing agent for the business, “Mr. Moon owned the business for the past 33 years and was ready to retire. He had purchased the business from Jim Keeler who purchased the building and the business from Peter Janney, who founded the store in the 1920s.”

Known as Keeler’s Korner, the business began as a general store and has evolved into more of a convenience store providing customers with lottery tickets, beer, wine, soda pop and tobacco products along with basic

food items. “Mr. Moon also carried a large selection of DVDs, which he rented. We are in the process of selling those and will not be renting DVDs,” Parker emphasized.

However, Parker is planning to continue to add items people request. “We have a little bit of everything and we do sell a lot of flour, sugar, eggs and milk,” she reported. “Along with beer and cigarettes,” her daughter added.

The new owner has made several changes since taking over on Oct. 1. “We have coffee daily and fresh baked cookies supplied by Berkey resident Dorothy Bryan, who owns Cake Art Supplies in Toledo. We are talking with her about possibly adding pies and cakes in the future. We also have JoJo’s Pizza from Mayberry and deli sandwiches from the St. Mary’s Meat Locker. We have some fresh produce and we plan to offer locally grown produce when it’s available later in the season.”

High on the list of other planned additions is soft ice cream. “We want to get back to the old county store concept,” Parker said. “And, we will continue to add the items people want,.

“We have a lot of local support,” Parker said. “People here seem to be very happy that we bought the store.”

The Berkey General Store is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the winter and will be open until 9 p.m. during the summer.