Celebrating one year in business on August 1, 2018, the Arrow Lakes News popped into the Hilltop Convenience Store, formerly Carson’s Corner, to see how the Smith family is doing. Offering up cake, juice, coffee and Double Bubble gum to customers as well as a draw for a beautiful yew wood bench made by Mike Smith’s good friend, the family was all smiles. Employing 14 staff which also includes Mike, Tracy and their daughters, Darian (15) and her twelve year old sister Jordis, it is most definitely still a family operation.
Opened in 1962 by Ken and Marilyn Marshall and their young family, the store was originally called Hilltop Grocery, a name that Tracy said her and Mike knew they would bring back before they even purchased the store. Owned and operated by the Carson family for years, one of the things that made this place special was the family atmosphere and it is fitting that a local, young family has stepped in to continue this tradition. Even Grandma Linda can be found serving up frozen yogurt on occasion! For this reporter, who lives ‘up the hill’, it is a pleasure to pop over to this local hotspot rather then head all the way to town.
On opening last year, the Smith’s let the community know that their intent was to expand stock and product while also modernizing the store. They have done a great job of following through on this. Mike has really beefed up the fishing supplies and the bakery section is fresh, delicious and plentiful. Find fresh made sandwiches daily and it’s never a bad idea to grab a pie for that weekend get together. We all watch for the weekly specials that are posted so conveniently on their Facebook page. Gas, Diesel, groceries, gifts, fresh produce from the family’s garden and so much more, this really is a one stop shop that sees locals and travellers alike perusing the aisles for the items they need and the ones they didn’t know they needed.
Keep an eye on the other little shop, Valley by the alley as Jordis calls it, Valley Foods will be next to get a work over by the entrepreneurial Smith family. The community looks forward to the growth and contributions this family is working hard to provide.
Mike, Tracy, Darian and Jordis would like to express their thanks and appreciation, both to their employees and the people who stop to shop, adding that without either they couldn’t have made this happen.