General/Convenience/Grocery Stores, Hodge’s Cove

Reprinted with permission from the book Hodge’s Cove by Eric Stringer, 2011

Prudence and Stephen Smith

It may have been one of, if not the, first stores in Hodge’s Cove. A small store which was built onto the right side of their house looking from the road. It was operated by their son William and his wife Jane. Such goods as fishing supplies, groceries and yard goods were sold. (Information updated by gg grandson, Don Smith, February 2020)


Grace’s Grocery / The Gift Shop

Grace’s Grocery / The Gift Shop

Had it remained open, it would have been near Joe Stringer’s on Country Road.

As with other businesses in the area it, too, got caught up in the growth of the commercial sector in Clarenville.

Grace’s Grocery opened in 1980 and closed in 1988. Originally it was a small-scale convenience store where groceries, confectionery, beer, etc. were sold. When grocery sales dwindled, a new line of goods (marketed as giftware) were offered.

Grace got married in 1985 and moved to Bonavista to live. Her sister Carol and mother Blanche operated the store for a few years, until it wasn’t worth keeping open. It was sold to Cyril and Audrey Stringer, who later sold it to Wilson Smith. The building was moved to Wilson’s property on the beach.


Fred T. Smith, General Dealer

Some years after their restaurant closed, Fred and his wife Jane saw the prospects and had a much larger store built at a site near the highroad approximately directly between the road and now-Mike’s house. It may have been the largest private commercial enterprise in the whole Southwest Arm.

Early in its existence, Jane passed away. Fred later married Louise Tricco, and they continued to operate the business. The store had three floors (of a split-level nature to conform to the contour of the hillside). Over the years, it had entertainment items such as a jukebox, pinball machines, and shuffleboard. It had confectionery, groceries, dry goods and hardware. Larger items such as kitchen appliances and furnaces were sold. And, for a while, even caskets were sold there.

For a number of years gas pumps were there as well.


Louise’s Store

Louise’s Store

The building presently occupied as a residence of the family of David Balsom, at approximately the same site as “the restaurant”, was originally built for Louise Smith as a general store. Some years had passed since her larger store had closed. But obviously Louise still had a yen for the business. No doubt the Clarenville factor had an impact on its demise, because it really didn’t last all that long. In future years it would be operated by others as food-preparation enterprises, including Ray Stringer (see following).


Carrie & Bunnie

For a while Carrie Balsom and her daughter Bunnie operated what had been Louise’s Store after Louise had retired from it.


Donald Pepin

The same store, Louise’s, that had been operated by Louise Smith for a brief while operated by Donald Pepin.


William and Jane Smith

The store originally operated by Prudence was later taken over and operated by her son William and daughter-in-law Jane.

Note: William and Jane were the parents of Fred Smith; so, it could be said, business was in their blood.


Mary (Lynch) Hiscock

This was a small general store which was located at the lower side of the road across from where Sidney Smith’s house is today. Competition with Aunt Prudence’s seems to have existed, based on a line that has survived until today. With respect to her sale of yard goods (material from which to make dresses, etc.), the line “This is none of your Prudence’s yards!” is attributed to Mary Lynch who apparently would add on a few inches of material to ‘her yard’. Fierce competition!


Willis & Gertie Thomas

Until about 1914, Uncle Harry Thomas’s family had lived at a site ‘on the beach’ near where the nor’west corner of the Marina is today. His son Willis and wife Gertie had operated a small general store at that site until that year, at which time they moved more inland and up the hill to the where Thomas’s live today. There’s no indication that the store was operated from the new location.


Julie (Bishop) Boone

Julie, wife of Silas Boone, operated a small store attached to the home of her mother-in-law, commonly known as “Aunty-I” … actually, Mrs. Georgina (nee Drover) Boone, wife of Isaac Boone.

The structure was located just a few feet from where Jack Peddle’s house is today, and toward the road intersection.


Harvey & Minnie Peddle

Harvey and Minnie Peddle

At a site of the property owned by Paula (Curtis) Lambert today  (near Andrew Smith’s), there once was a general store owned by Harvey and his wife Minnie Peddle. Even today, some fifty years later, the author remembers vividly the aromas from the apple barrel and the loose fancy biscuits from the open wooden box. And the loose candy …. yummy!!



Stephen Smith, Jr.

Stephen Smith, Jr.

A grand-son of Stephen and Prudence, Steve Smith had two places of business in Hodge’s Cove (though, at different times), one on either side of the road. The first store was on the same side of the road as his house and occupied what is now most of the flower graden in front of the house. From this store Stephen also ran the Post Office for a few years. The other store was directly across the road from the lane that goes to the house. His store was built in two sections, built at different times.

Though not large in terms of space, a significant amount of business was done there, certainly in the latter one. Though groceries were the main fare, confectionery, beer, and such attractions as pool tables, pinball machines, etc. were of interest to the customers. This store was one of the original “hangouts” for the younger people of their day.

(Information updated by son, Don Smith, February 2020)


Robert and Mary Bertha Drover

Robert and Mary Bertha Drover

At the site near where Ruby Drover’s house now is, was where Mary Bertha Drover for a while operated a small grocery store which was part of the residence.




James and Bertha Drover

They actually had two stores. Taking the lane going up to Frank’s and Sandra’s as a reference, the first store (which had no more than 200 sq. ft. floor space) was located near the road on the left side of the lane. The second, a much larger one, was a general store a little farther up the lane on the right hand side. It was probably twice as large as the first one, maybe more. Besides groceries and dry goods, hardware, confectionery and kerosene oil could be bought there.


Sam Drover’s

The first store that Sam had was actually a ‘pantry’ at the house of his parents, Samuel and Hannah (nee Pond) Drover.


Drover’s General Store (Sam Drover)

Sam actually had three stores. The first was attached to his residence, situated almost directly across the road from Ab Curtis’s driveway. The second one was much larger and was located about 15 meters from the first one. His last one, Drover’s General Store, the one used by Arch Curtis as a ‘storehouse’ today, was huge compared to the other two. Groceries, beer, confectionery, dry goods and hardware items were sold there. Political speeches were free!

Two particular people, Ivy Langdon Vey and Marie Drover Peddle (especially Ivy) were long-standing employees at this store. It would be difficult to imagine that business without these two being prominent in the picture.

That same store, when no longer operated by Sam, was run (owned?) for several years by Marie Peddle and her daughter Claudine Avery.

After Marie Peddle had finished running it, was operated (owned?) for many years by Bernice and Harvey Drover.


Christine’s Cash and Carry

That same store, when no longer operated by Bernice Drover, was bought and operated by Christine and Arch Curtis for several years.

Christine’s Cash & Carry (Photo credit Les Vey)

Christine’s Cash and Carry (Photo credit Eric Stringer)


William E. and Madeline Peddle

A small store that was a room near the entrance at their house was operated briefly by Madeline.


Anita Smith

For a few years, Anita Smith (wife of Victor) owned and operated a general store that was attached to her primary residence.


Raymond Stringer

That store, previously owned by Anita Smith, was operated for a while by Ray Stringer after his parents Lester and Ella Stringer bought the house from Victor Smith.


Cecil and Marie Peddle

At the intersection of the road and the lane by Andrew Smith’s, Cecil and Marie had a little store that was a mini games arcade. Confectionery was sold there as well.


Linda’s Gas Bar & Convenience

Time will tell the duration of the business commonly known as  “Linda’s”. But as of this writing, it has been wondrously successful, in the face of the tide of commercial activity in Clarenville.

Linda’s Gas Bar &Convenience (Photo credit Eric Stringer)

Linda’s Gas Bar & Convenience (Photo from Les Vey Collection)