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Patrick's new place
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Patrick's, a general store and a Newton County institution in business for 60 years, celebrated the grand opening of its new store this week.

Located on the Covington Bypass, the store is roughly the same size as the one on Pace Street in Covington, which is now closed.

Owners Jan and Gary Patrick said they decided to move their store because they wanted to be closer to more residences and people, which they feel they've achieved with their new location near Eastside High School and several subdivisions.

"We're not a tourist attraction. We actually earn our living as an old-fashioned general store," Jan said. "It's been said if you can't get it here or at Mayfield's, you don't need it."

When their customers learned of their move, Jan said a number of them wanted to make sure Patrick's would still be the same store residents have come to love over the years.

"Everybody was afraid we were going to change when we moved," she said. "But we haven't changed a thing."

Jan said Patrick's would continue to sell the old-fashioned Christmas candy it has become so popular for and would still total customers' receipts on paper bags.

"We try to do everything as much as we can as in 1948 when [Gary's dad, E.L. Patrick] opened the business," she said.

Though located in a brand new building, Patrick's still maintains its old-timey feel with ceiling fans, a cement floor and its wooden display shelves, which are all hand-built by the Patricks.

Patrick's features a popular line of jarred preserves, relishes and mustards as well as its own unique barbecue sauce, 'In the Sticks,' which is a family recipe.

In the spring and fall, Patrick's turns into a full-service garden center, selling all of the plants and seeds one would need for starting up a vegetable garden.

At Christmastime the store goes full out.

 "It's like stepping back into the 1800s," Jan said.

During the holiday season, Jan said the store typically sells 45-50 tons of Christmas candy. Though the store will carry 125 flavors, some of its most popular candy items include peanut clusters, old-fashioned chocolate drops, bonbons, macaroons, sugar stick peppermint candy and divinity candy.

Gift baskets are another popular item for the store. Last year they sold 5,000, Jan said. Customers can create their own baskets or buy prepackaged ones.

Muffin mixes, grits and pancake mixes are sold during the holidays, but Jan said they are usually the first items to sell out during the season. The store also sells Superbuck deer food plot mixes.

Patrick's carries old-fashioned cheddar hoop cheese that comes in mild, sharp and super sharp flavors. Country ham and cracklins are sold as well.

There is a full service quilt shop in the store with about 4,000 bolts of fabric to choose from Jan said.

New additions to the store's wares include a line of cookbooks and a full assortment of dog collars and chains. Patrick's also recently began carrying a line of homemade cakes.