Shell Creek General Store to host grand opening celebration on Saturday

Published 5:40 pm Thursday, October 5, 2017

As the leaves change colors and the air gets crisper Fall is in the air, and this weekend Shell Creek General Store will celebrate the grand opening of their Pumpkin Barn with a day full of family fun.

Jared and Leanna Kodak opened the Shell Creek General Store on Sept. 3, and now the husband and wife team are opening a Pumpkin Barn at the store for the Fall season. On Saturday, the store will open at 10 a.m. “We’re going to open the Pumpkin Barn around noon,” Leanna Kodak said.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Pumpkin Barn will feature mums, fodder, and, of course, pumpkins. Saturday’s celebration will feature live music, games, and food from Highlander Barbecue available for purchase.

“I’m going to do pumpkin painting with the kids,” Kodak said.

There will also be different sales available throughout the general store, Kodak said.

The Shell Creek General Store is reminiscent of old country general stores in days gone by.

“We try to have a little bit of everything,” Kodak said.

The store sells hiking and camping supplies, small groceries, produce, some household and hygiene items, some clothing, handmade jewelry, gift items, handmade soaps and essential oils, and homemade baked goods.

“Our breads and jams do really well,” Kodak said. “The lady who makes it sells out every weekend.”

The store also stocks a variety of T-shirts brands including Simply Southern, Appalachian Trail, Dr. Enuf, and Carhartt.

Walking into the store is like taking a step back in history. Not only does Shell Creek General Store feature the same variety of items available at community stores around the turn of the century, the building was once the location of a “general merchandise” store that served the Shell Creek community.

In 1880, William F. Church and his wife Lula Cornelia Hardin Church, of Boone, bought the property from Lula’s uncle Jordan Hardin, who had also granted a right of way through Shell Creek to the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad.

William Church and John Woodruff formed a business partnership, and in 1882, the same year the “Tweetsie” began, the Church & Woodruff General Merchandise store opened along the railroad’s route. The Church home was also located on the property. Across from the store was the Shell Creek Depot where the train stopped. Church later bought Woodruff out, and the store became known as “William F. Church General Merchandise.”

In 1889 Church died and his wife Lula continued to run the store with the help of her brother and J.G. Story until she remarried seven years later to John Snider. After their marriage, John Snider ran the store until his death in 1914, when the store was closed.

In 2000, the Kodak family bought the property and Jared and Leanna decided to open the store once again. As much as possible, the couple have kept the store as it was originally.

Shell Creek General Store is located at 8712 Highway 19E, Roan Mountain, at the corner of Highway 19E and Shell Creek Road. The store is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 2-6 pm. For more information, visit the Shell Creek General Store’s page on Facebook, email them at, or call them at 423-213-1588.