McConnell’s Country Store opens under new owners

PHOTO PROVIDED Marking the new ownership of McConnell’s Country Store in Waterville recently were, from left, Brenda Holdren of the Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center, and store co-owners Vanessa Brown and Jason McConnell.

WATERVILLE — McConnell’s Country Store recently cut the ribbon to officially re-open under the new ownership of Jason McConnell and Vanessa Brown, who purchased the longstanding business from Jason’s father.

The old-fashioned country store and fly shop is located at 10853 Route 44 North in Waterville, next to the historic Waterville Tavern with direct access to the Pine Creek rail trail.

Owner Jason McConnell explains, “The store has a long history at this location, which has had a continual successfully running convenience store since approximately 1920. My father has owned it for the last 17 years and I’m excited to keep it in the family and give it a fresh new start. Being located in the heart of the Pine Creek Valley and The Pennsylvania Wilds Region allows us to draw a steady stream of outdoor enthusiasts throughout most of the year who come to enjoy the prime fishing, hunting and biking trails that this region is famous for.”

Co-owner Vanessa Brown adds, “Being a business owner is a dream come true. I’ve worked at the store as an employee when I was younger and am so happy to now take the reins as an owner. We will be refreshing the look and updating the products we offer. In addition to offering a wide range of hunting, fishing and camping supplies and equipment for both the novice and the more experienced, we look forward to continuing this historic tradition by providing tourists, locals and family day-trippers with an array of convenience and food items including: fresh deli items and sandwiches, groceries, gasoline (and diesel), basic automotive supplies, clothing, shoes, gift items, toys, games and more.”

The couple has been working with the Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) over the past year to help work through the complexities, requirements and planning necessary to purchase an existing business.

Brenda Holdren, senior business consultant at the SBDC, says, “Jason and Vanessa overcame a lot of challenges and put a great deal of work, patience and planning into the purchase of the store. They are committed to the continued success of the business and have a true understanding of and dedication to their customers. No doubt, they will be serving the area for many years to come.”

The store is currently open for business 7 days a week.

An official grand opening weekend celebration will take place in May.

For more information, contact Vanessa Brown or Jason McConnell at 570-753-8241 or email at vness1209@gmail.com.

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