Souvenir store offers items depicting Scopes trial

Souvenir store offers items depicting Scopes trial

June 25th, 2011 by Kimberly McMillian in Business Around the Region

Eva Cruver sets up a T-shirt display at The General Store in Dayton, Tenn., while her husband, Tim, autographs his book, "You Be the Judge," which depicts the 1925 Scopes Trial through newspaper accounts.

Photo by Kimberly McMillian /Times Free Press.

• Name: The General Store

• Location: On the corner of Second and Market streets in downtown Dayton, Tenn.

• Products: Souvenir wooden checker sets, glass soda bottles in 30 flavors, historic postcards and Scopes Trial memorabilia, and a deli with Frappucino and milk shake varieties

• Owner: Eva Cruver

• Inspiration behind the name: Cruver said that she wanted an authentic general store and enjoyed it whenever visitors would comment on the aged wooden floors that she had installed and other décor they presumed as antique.

• Anticipated annual sales: Seven years ago when Cruver opened her store, her profits had increased marginally each year. At the five-year mark, her goals changed from making a profit during the recession to "holding on."

• Price range of products: Five cents for hard candy, up to $75 for antiques

• Target market: "(There's) something for every age," she said. Kids will ride their bicycles to buy ice cream, and older customers will purchase soft drinks, coffee or fruit-flavored beverages.

• Biggest hurdle: The recession created an economic detour in her outlook. Cruver switched her focus from merchandise offerings and increased her food and beverage selections.

• Biggest reward: She smiled and said, "I'm here to talk with the customers every day, and... know what they want (to order)."

• Challenges: She said that figuring out the next trend and not making mistakes with wrong purchases remains a challenge for her as a business owner.

• Lesson learned: Cruver said she's learned "to be diverse," but already knew that it'd take hard work and long hours from her previous business venture.

• Five-year goal: Creating a store that makes people feel like they've walked back in time