Evans Store Parts & Deli in Coosa sold; community treasure to remain open.

Evans Store Parts & Deli in Coosa sold; community treasure to remain open.

 

Photo by Sarah O’Carroll, March 2016

You’d be hard to find another business like Evans Store Parts & Deli in Northwest Georgia. It is an oasis in the Coosa community, from gas and basics to auto parts, fishing gear and a deli good enough to lure customers from downtown Rome.

News of its impending sale has been the stuff of social media in recent days but as you’ll read below in a post from Sandra Lindsey, “the cat is out of the bag.” Writes Sandra on Facebook:

“Yes, Evans Store and Parts in Coosa has sold. The original gas station opened over 50 years ago by Mr. Evans and grew to the current location in 1988 when his sons Larry and Alan expanded. My husband, Larry Lindsey, (Larry Evans’ brother-in-law) decided to join forces with them and open the Parts Store. It has been a good 31-year run for us.

“Larry is ready to retire and have some much-needed time off. Both of our boys worked at the parts store starting in high school and Ryan continued until his illness. Marcus moved on. The plans are that current employees will stay on so you will still see the same familiar faces. Larry will stay with the Parts Store a short period through the transition but you will still see Keith Weeks there as always. The store is definitely not closing.

“The convenience store and deli will also stay open with familiar faces. Alan Jr. plans to remain as well as the other employees. We are excited for Larry’s much-deserved retirement. And yes, there is a Honey Do list waiting on him. Thank y’all for all the support throughout the years. It has been good to us.”

THE HISTORY OF THE EVANS STORE: Almost three years ago to the day — March 8, 2016 — Hometown Headlines writer Sarah O’Carroll wrote a wonderful profile of the Evans Store and its unique history. We’re reposting Sarah’s story below:

By Sarah O’Carroll
For Hometown Headlines

Evans Store is perhaps one of a kind in combining a kitchen counter serving fresh, home cooking with an auto parts store, a convenience store and a gas station that sells biodiesel in addition to more traditional fuels. And don’t forget fishing tackle.

Located on the western outskirts of Coosa at 5680 Alabama Highway NW, Evans also is a morning ritual for locals.

“I enjoy the company of the guys here,” says customer Randy Tucker. “I usually try to learn something from them.”

Charlie Burnes, another frequenter, says he goes to Evans for the conversation and to stay up on local news – the real news.

“If there’s anything you want to find out in Coosa or about somebody or what’s going on, you do it right here,” Burnes says.

The beginnings

Evans Store began in 1970 as a gas station and convenience store, starting up a half mile from the cluster of buildings it comprises today, according to co-owner Alan Evans.

He says the deli was added after a woman down the street asked him and his brother Larry, the other co-owner, whether they would be willing to sell her homemade biscuits. They said yes.

“She brought them every morning,” Evans says. “Eventually, we thought it’d be a good idea to have a kitchen” and expand the store’s home-cooked offerings.

The deli now serves three hot meals every day except Sunday, when only barbecue and hot dogs are available.

“We give the girls a day off,” Alan Evans says. “They deserve it.”

Evans says that for many customers, the food is the biggest draw, so much so that a truck driver once wrote a song about their pork chops.

Standing the test of time

Evans says a lot has changed since the store moved to its present location nearly 20 years ago. “When we built this store in 1988, cellphones weren’t a thing,” he says. “Now we have a wifi hot spot.”

But some things, like pumping gas for women, has and will continue to remain the same, he says.

“You don’t want to get gas all over you while you’re fixing to go to work,” he says. “We have a bunch of ladies that come in daily, so we make sure to take care of them.”

Evans says that his brother, Larry, has played a big part in both expanding and maintaining the business. He says that because of his brother, the store sells LED lighting, biodiesel fuel and propane refills.

And whatever they might add in the future, they will serve it up with a personal touch, which is what Evans says is the key. The “secret” to success isn’t a secret at all, he says: “Treat customers right.

“We speak to everybody who comes into the store,” Evans says. “We try to help [customers] in any way we can, and always try to do the honest thing.”

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