Ann Cantrell

General stores are important to their communities for a lot of reasons, but many have had to adjust quickly in order to stay in business through the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s guest is Ann Cantrell, the owner of Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store. In today’s episode, Annie explains how she decided to open a general store in the first place, what happened when the pandemic first hit, and how she thinks that things will change – or not – as things begin to return to normal.


Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode:

How Annie ended up opening her own store
When Annie’s store officially opened
Annie’s initial feelings about shutting down for COVID-19
Changes Annie made for COVID-19
What types of products people were looking for as the pandemic went on
The increase that Annie’s store saw in online sales
How competition was affected by the pandemic
Whether online sales will be more dominant as things return to normal
New York’s workshare program
Resources for businesses in danger of shutting down



Ann Cantrell

Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store



“I joke that it was ten years before I opened, but it was really, I’d say, longer than that, and my friends and family can attest to that.”

“In social media, specifically Instagram, we communicated often about what we were doing to keep people safe and what products we had.”

“I’ve always said that puzzles were our secret sauce.”