A true community store is celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 6. The hub of Glendale and surrounding areas, Comer Station Convenience Store Bakery and Deli accommodates shift workers and truck drivers and serves a community with pride.
Store owner Carolyn Gribling said that Glendale has had a convenience store, in different shapes and forms, since the beginning of Glendale. “When the previous store closed we heard all the time how upset people were,” she explained. “When we were renovating people stopped and said, ‘Thank God.’ Lots of people are on foot, and this is their world.”
The store, which opened July 1, had been empty for three months when Gribling and her partner Lance Marshall, started renovations. They gutted it and transformed it into a rustic, clean modern store with train décor in keeping with the history of the area.
“There’s a train theme at the beer and wine store next door and we can hear the train go through here, too,” she added.
“Our vision was to build a bakery, deli and a convenience store: this community needs it. Where I grew up every community had a bakery, a drug store, a corner store,” she said. “Glendale is a big community that goes as far as 168 Mile Road, Boundary Road and up to Pigeon Road. We call the ATM next door the Glendale bank — this is close for everyone.”
The bakery serves things like cookies, cinnamon buns, pretzels and bun bombs — perfect meals in a bun.
One of the unique things about the store is that it accommodates mill workers, shift workers and logging truck drivers. “They can stop here at 6 a.m. to get food for the day: things like a bowl of chili, a sandwich, drinks and coffee,” Gribling stated. “Our baker’s here at 5:30 a.m. and if there’s someone waiting outside to get on the road before the store opens she’ll let them in.
“I’ve been here enough years; I know what drives our economy,” she added. “They are our local economy and it’s important to support them.”
The store’s grand opening will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. with a barbecue by donation, with proceeds going to the Salvation Army food bank. “We’ll have draws for great prizes like store merchandise, a tent, a patio umbrella and more,” she said. “There will be free chips and pop and some of our baked samples for people to try.
“Everyone is welcome; come and celebrate a true community store.”
Comer Station Convenience Store is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and on weekends and holidays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Gribling said she’s been in customer service for many years and believes in making people feel welcome. “I want them to feel at home and that we really want them here,” she said. “We greet everyone; when they walk in the door it smells like mom’s house: comfortable and welcoming.
“People tell us all the time what they want to see here, and we try to do it,” she added. “This store is a reflection of what people want the most in their community store.”