Black Crow Havana308 N. Main Street has a long history in Havana, like most of the downtown historical area.  Originally it was Miss Lula’s Five & Dime and carried various sundries.  Being very frugal, she only turned on one light at a time—over the area the current shopper was in.  There was  a huge candy counter which was popular with the local children.  Every so often, I still get a customer that remembers the distant past and this particular store.

For more than 17 years, this building was the Little River Trading Co. and was famous for, once again, the candy counter filled with old time favorites.  The toy section, filled with retro toys, was always a favorite place to find that special gift for a grandchild or niece.  When this popular store closed it kept the same ambiance and was called just The General Store.  Sadly, that store closed and the building sat empty for over a year.

The first time I saw the building was when the Lake Tallavana neighbors decided to rent it out for the day and hold a garage sale.  I immediately loved the original brick walls, wood floors, and of course the infamous candy counter—now dusty and empty.  I had a fun day playing shopkeeper and selling stuff I no longer wanted or needed, and never dreamed I would end up opening a store here.  Not sure what possessed me, but on a whim I decided to open a store—the Black Crow.

I still carry old fashioned candy (think wax lips, candy necklaces, O’Henry, candy cigarettes) but no longer in the original candy case.  That has been filled with vintage jewelry, china and glassware.  I do have the retro toys (nothing with a battery), garden things, and the ever popular coke machine with retro sodas like RC Cola (yes, I have Moon Pies to go with it) and Grape Nehi.  After hearing that there used to be an artists co-op in Havana, I contacted many of them and offered to carry their artwork on consignment.  So, in addition to the retro stuff, I also have a lot of gift items that were made by local artists—clay sculptures, paintings, wood cutting boards, gourd baskets and lamps and much more.

I also added a section of unique gifts (to satisfy my love of shopping)—my rule being to buy only things I like.  And, of course, building on the original garage sale,  I have a section of consignment items.  So if you want to clear out your house, or add to your collection, stop by and see what I have.  It changes constantly, so hopefully you will keep coming back.

I still get customers looking for the Little River Trading Co. or the General Store, and even a few that shopped at Miss Lula’s!  And I have to admit, that my favorite compliment was from a customer who said they loved the other store, but they thought they liked mine even better!  Stop by and let me know what you think.

~ Nancy Saunders