… cause “Life is better in Sulphur Lick ”

By: Terry Simpson
It’s almost like stepping back in time as you walk past the vintage bicycle propped against the side of the old Sulphur Lick Store and step onto the hardwood floors lovingly restored by the McPherson family, who now own and operate the 82-year-old building. From the floors to the deli counter the new business has been kept as close as possible to the old country store that once operated there.
Kendall Brown, daughter of owner Kenny and Stacey McPherson, sits behind the cash register as her husband, Ethan Brown, chats with Leak Miller and Mark Copas, who have stopped by the store for a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich.
Brown says it is a slow time, with crowds coming and going in waves, but several people stop by as she prepares a cone of strawberry cheesecake ice cream.
The store offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches, drinks, snacks and several flavors of hand-dipped ice cream in regular cones, waffle cones or a cup. The store opens at 5 a.m. and usually closes around 5 p.m., but the hours are tentative for now until the owners have a better idea of customer needs, she said.
Since they opened in May, they have had a tremendous reception in the community, she added.
Stacey McPherson noted that reopening the store “was much more of an undertaking than we originally thought and we are still doing little things here and there,” to which her soon to be daughter-in-law, Jenna Hurd, laughed and said, “We were up all night before opening day and realized at 1:30 in the morning we didn’t have plates or cups.
“We had to go to Glasgow Walmart to get them,” she continued.
Jenna is engaged to McPherson’s son, Kaelin McPherson.
The family-run store trickles down from mom Stacey to the Browns, Hurds and on to Klaire McPherson, who stops in with her mom to grab breakfast on the way to school in the mornings and can’t resist taking a turn at the register.
Klaire helps take cash from Matt Williams, who wanders away and forgets his milk on the counter as he chats with deli counter workers Diane Turner and Joyce Jennings. Jennings is the daughter of former owners Roy and Hazel Birge, who still live just past the store.
McPherson says the store has had several owners in her recollection, with each one offering some type of food. It was originally opened in 1936 by Johnny Denham and then passed down to his daughter and her husband.
It was sold in 1989 at auction. Paul and Barbara Hutcherson were owners of the store at one point as well, with it closing in 2010 or 2011 and being used for storage.
“I remember my grandma and grandpa would bring me here as a little girl for a snack. Pa still has one of the caps from when it was Denhams,” Brown reminisced as her mom continued.
“It’s sentimental, you know.”
The family decided to open the store on a whim, with the idea just kind of coming about from the mother and daughters love of anything vintage or farmhouse themed.
“It is part of the community and we hate to see it destroyed,” said McPherson.
Brown added, “We want to keep the country store alive.”
The store is located at 7017 Sulphur Lick Rd., in Tompkinsville, although your GPS might not take you to exactly that point in the road. You will know you have arrived when you see the line of pick up trucks sitting in front of that old white building many of us passed on our way to “town” as children. Some of you may have longed for the days when it wasn’t such a drive to get a scoop of ice cream or a bologna sandwich.
You don’t have to travel back in time to relive those days, just stop in at the Sulphur Lick Store and see the McPherson family.
For more information, visit their page on Facebook.

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