Parker Mercantile, a new artisanal general store, opening in Croton Falls


How long has it been since the Hygrade was last open? For many Croton Falls residents, the answer is too long. Once known as the Whitlock Brothers general store, the eventual Hygrade Market was famous for accepting scrip—paper currency when metal coins were scarce—during the civil war. But after the most recent installment Gordon’s Deli closed a couple of years ago, the building that once housed the old store near the Croton Falls train station has remained vacant. Under new ownership, the Hygrade is back in business with plans to officially open in the coming months.

The new and improved Hygrade Market will have two main areas. The left-hand side will serve as an eatery: house-made food, fresh coffee, and even craft beer are all on the menu. Owners Tom and Dawn Christopher have made sure to find the highest quality beverages available to keep you coming back each and every time. This particular part of the Hygrade will not be a part of the soft opening on April 30—but the general store on the other side will be. And that’s where you can find products from Parker Mercantile.

Libby Parker’s business, Parker Mercantile, is what she describes as an “artisan general store.” There, you can buy handmade pieces from artists all over the country. What makes these products particularly special are that they are made with care and authenticity in mind; Parker prides herself on finding American-made goods that will last. She also sells several products that directly support low-income communities.

“[We have] something for men, women, children, and pets,” Parker said, giving us a sneak peak into some of the wooden puzzles, handmade bags and jewelry pieces that will be available for purchase. These and more are unique products that you can’t easily find anywhere else. The level of time and care put into creating each product sets them apart from other mass-manufactured retail items.

When asked about the future goals for the Hygrade Market, Parker said that she, Tom, and Dawn envision it becoming a “community hub” and adding to the “small town vibe” already set by other businesses in the area. She is ready to welcome people who want to sit down and work on their laptops, eat a hearty cooked meal with friends and family, or explore the various products in the store.

The soft opening of Parker Mercantile is this Saturday, April 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Follow Parker Mercantile and Hygrade Market on Instagram for updates.

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