Colebrook General Store
Colebrook General Store

On Friday, April 24, Colebrook Preservation Society Chairman Edward Lord announced that the society is looking for a new operator for the Colebrook General Store.
The store, located at 559 Colebrook Road, is the longest operating general store in the state and opened in 1812.
It is also the only retail store to serve the small rural town of Colebrook, which has a population of 1,413 according to the 2017 U.S. Census.
The store shut down in 2007 and was closed for two years before the building was purchased by the Colebrook Preservation Society.
It re-opened in July 2013 under the management of Miriam Briggs, but it shut down again in March 2014 due to a dispute between her and the society.
It reopened again in December 2014 with Marinelli as its new operator.
Marinelli recently celebrated her fifth year as the store’s operator.
“I was very nervous coming in because people were very skeptical,” Marinelli said in an interview with The Winsted Phoenix back in January. “They said that nobody ever makes it. I had a lot of negativity coming in and I pushed through all of it. I think I’ve over succeeded with what I did. People have realized that I am here and it’s a good thing for the community to have.”
Marinelli grew up in West Hartland and her family-owned Marinelli’s Restaurant in Burlington for over 38 years.
In a letter to customers, Marinelli said that she would be departing in June.
“After over five years of running the store, my family and I have decided to start a new chapter in our lives,” Marinelli wrote. “My husband Bob has a new job, and our daughter is now finishing her final year at the Colebrook Consolidated School. The time is right to move on, but we will never forget all of the people in the community that was part of our family.”
In a post to the town’s Facebook page, Lord said that the society is actively looking for a new operator.
“As sorry as we are to see Jodi leave, we understand her and her family’s decision as they start a new chapter in their lives,” Lord wrote. “ We were blessed that Jodi took on the task just over five years ago to re-open the Colebrook Store. Her passion, dedication, and hard work brought the store back to its rightful place in the community, a lively central spot to meet, order some good eats, and to catch up on the goings-on about town.”
Lord did not return calls for comment for this story.