HARRISBURG — For two Harrisburg sisters, going to work every day means getting to spend time with an old member of the family — a grocery store that’s been in the family for more than 30 years.
Jackie Colley and Jan Sublett grew up working and hanging out in Price’s Grocery in Harrisburg, a store owned by their parents, Jean and Jack. Then 15 years ago, the two women purchased the store from their parents as well as their brother and sister-in-law, who had later owned the store with Jean and Jack.
“They were choosing to retire,” Sublett said. “And our kids had gotten older where we were more available to work outside the home.”
The sisters changed the name from Price’s Grocery to C&S Grocery but changed little else about the family business.
“The only thing that changed was adding the Carhartts,” said Colley, referring to the Carhartt clothing that is kept in one of the upstairs rooms. “Other than that, it’s kind of the same.”
Even though Colley and Sublett have been running things for 15 years, people still occasionally refer to the store by its former name.
“Almost every night when I run checks, there will be a check in there to Price’s Grocery,” Sublett said. “We’ve been here 15 years, and they still write them to Price’s Grocery.”
C&S Grocery is the only local option for shopping, so the store stocks a variety of items besides groceries.
“We carry the full line of groceries, and then we sell feed — cattle feed and dog food,” Colley said. “We have hardware upstairs and the Carhartts upstairs. And of course liquor — everything a grocery store would have.”
More than providing for the material needs of the people of Harrisburg, the store plays another important role in the town — a social role.
“People just like to come here to see one another as well as shop,” Sublett said.
“We’re definitely the information center,” Colley added. “Like if the weather’s bad, people call and ask if we’re having school. Sometimes we know and sometimes we don’t. They call for a lot of different information.”
Both sisters agreed that their favorite part of the store was getting to work with the public.
“You just get to hear all kinds of things and see all kinds of things,” Colley said. "It keeps it interesting.”
After more than 30 years in the family, the store holds many fond memories and has come to mean a lot to both sisters.
“The store is kind of part of our family it seems like,” Colley said. “We’ve been in business so long it seems like it’s part of us. Someday I’m sure we probably won’t have it, and that will be strange. Our children grew up with us having it. I grew up with my parents having it. It will be kind of strange if that day comes when none of us have it.”