Every small Vermont town needs a general store. In 2013, the Albany General Store, the only store in the town, was lost to a fire and has been standing empty ever since. It was a loss for the entire town of approximately 900 residents in the center of the Northeast Kingdom. Albany Community Trust is on a mission to give Albany back its store. A new store will be the heart of town and a central gathering place for everyone in the community and visitors to the region while creating a focal point where old friendships are treasured and new friendships are made. ACT will lease the store to experienced local general store operators, who will not have the financial burden of purchasing and rebuilding the existing building. This model of community ownership and support is taking hold in Vermont and is enabling rural communities to enjoy the vitality and economic benefits of a general store that is also a community center.
Even though a large percentage of the households in the Albany area live on annual incomes close to the federal poverty level, the community has raised almost $360,000 in donations, fundraisers, and events, along with majors financial contributions from state and national organizations and agencies. In spite of these efforts to date, we are still in urgent need of cash contributions for construction work that cannot be provided by town residents. We hope to raise $100,000 before the store opens in March 2021, and hope $30,000 of that can come from folks out there who love community, general stores, and Albany.
Give here or directly on our website albanycommunitytrust.org