Address: 28140 Highway 25 North, Golden
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Primary business: Retail grocery, food and gas
There’s a stool that sits just beyond the front door of Ladewig’s Cornerstore, located just off of Highway 25 North in the Golden community.
The stool is placed so that anyone sitting on it can lean against the front counter and talk to whoever might be working behind the cash register that day. Most days, that’s either Karen or Todd Ladewig, husband and wife owners of the business since 2007. It’s a small detail that speaks volumes about how the Ladewigs run their store.
Loitering is not only allowed, it’s encouraged.
“I just thought I’d leave it over there,” Todd said, explaining that he’d set the stool out one day to accommodate a friend with a leg injury; it’s been there ever since. “A lot of people come in and just kind of hang out.”
Although most convenience stores discourage this kind of thing, the Ladewigs – both chatty and personable – usually invite their visitors to stay a spell. It’s one of the staples of being a rural store, Todd said. Sure, business is important, but so is community.
In a brief lull in an otherwise nearly constant stream of customers, Todd said that a rural corner store is all about community.
“It’s different from owning a store in town,” Todd said, adding that not only does he know just about every customer who walks through the door, but he’s also close to them. “Most of our customers are more like friends … Well, more than friends, really. They’re like family.”
The Ladewigs are the latest in a series of owners of the Cornerstore. Todd said his uncle originally opened the shop decades ago, but eventually sold it. It’s changed hands several times since then, but when the opportunity presented itself to purchase the store and return it to the family, Todd said he jumped at it.