HONEYVILLE - By Ellen Cook, Headliner Media Specialist - June 30, 2021
When Sherry Laughlin was just 11 years old and traveling with her family in Oregon, she entered a little country store in a small town and immediately fell in love. She liked the unique atmosphere, the hometown appeal and the “little-of-everything” merchandize it contained.
“It was just the cutest thing,” she recalled. “They had all kinds of stuff and just barrels and baskets of candies, an ice cream parlor and everything!”
Since that visit years ago, her adventures have taken her from California to her current home just outside of Brigham City. Some of those trips found her driving past the small marketplace in the center of Honeyville, known as Lainie’s. Her thoughts went back to that Oregon memory.
“We would drive past this store, and I would grieve that it wasn’t as awesome as it could be,” she said. “I understand that sometimes you just get burned out or you don’t know what to do with something, but I had a vision of it being truly a little country store - and I’ve wanted one since that visit to Oregon.”
Laughlin said she made an offer on the store to owner Lainie Mayberry about three years ago, but the timing wasn’t right. More recently, however, things changed and the opportunity to buy it resurfaced.
“We were able to purchase it and now, hopefully, we will be able to get everything up and running,” she said. “There are going to be changes.”
The first change the new owners made was the name. Although the store has been known as Lainie’s for the past 18 years, Laughlin wanted to put her own touch on the title. It will now be called “Meemz and Pops” after a nickname her granddaughter pinned on her years ago. The outside look will soon have a fresh coat of paint and a new store sign, while the interior will be getting an overhaul.
Laughlin also plans on adding a few enticement items to bring in customers.
“We are going to have a swirl freeze machine put in,” she said. “I will be able to make swirl ice cream in unlimited flavors. It will make soft-serve ice cream, shakes and smoothies.”
The newly outfitted store will also offer fountain drinks, hot food, cold sandwiches and locally grown produce.
As far as the day-to-day content of the store, Laughlin is looking for ideas from the community.
“I would love to have suggestions on what people would truly come in here for,” she said. “I will be carrying milk and bread, minimal supplies. I just need to know what the community would come in here to get, and I would be happy to carry it. I will carry Oreos or Chips-Ahoy if people would be interested.”
Laughlin said she would like to carry some seasonal items, along with a few décor items, “things a little country store would be fitted with.”
The gas pumps will remain to supply the public, Laughlin added, although with just two tanks she is limited on what she can sell.
“We are going to do 88 Ethanol-free and diesel. There will be those two, that is the plan right now. We are also working on getting a card reader at the pumps so they will be open 24/7.”
Store hours will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., at least during the summer, but Laughlin said she plans to open an hour earlier in the winter to cater to the bus riders.
The new owner is delighted to have found her “country store” and even more excited to be in Honeyville. She said the community has welcomed her with open arms.
“I am extremely blessed to have them accept me and congratulate me over and over. Everyone, of course, misses Lainie, she’s awesome, but they have been very supportive.”
Right now most of her ideas are still works in progress but Laughlin hopes to unveil the new “Meemz and Pops,” at a grand opening slated for July 24. Until then she invites the public to “just keep coming in and checking on changes.”
Oh, and treat yourself to a candy bar!