The Old General Store Wedding and Event Center will be having their Open House Tour and Tasting event this Saturday, February 25, 2012 from 11 am to 3 pm. Located at: 104 McNaught Rd. South Roy, WA 98580, the following vendors will be participating: Catering by Act 3 Catering, Photography by Kim and Joel at Vivid Imagery, Carriage by Tammy at Country Wagons, Dawns Floral & Tuxedo, Linens and more, American Party Rental, Cakes from Pioneer Bakery, Burning Cupcakes, Event Planning, Décor and Designs, Vivify Designs by Talleen Foerster, Studio J Salon, Flying Tomato Catering, DJ Music by Chris at South Bay Sound, and Funky Me Jewelry. The purpose of the event is to give ideas to the: “brides to be,” and the groom, mothers of the bride, wedding planners, and anyone that is trying to help with the planning of an upcoming wedding.
Diana Riehm, owner of the Old General Store, explained what activities attendees will partake in, “I have had help setting up this Open House by Talleen Foerster of Vivify Design, she has planned how our venue will be set up just like we were having a wedding that day. The seating in the venue is set up for the wedding ceremony and the stage decorated for a wedding. We are going with a country wedding theme at this open house, though the venue lends itself to many other themes. We will have our caterers and bakers set up to display and sample their goods. Our Floral expert has a lovely plan to incorporate some of our “old pieces” with her floral designs. I am excited to see the finished product. When our guests arrive, they will be greeted at the door by either my husband or myself (Mark or Diana Riehm), or by one of our participating vendors. We will start by giving them a tour of the Main floor and find out more about what needs we might be able to help them with. Tammy, owner of Country Wagons, will be giving Carriage Rides to our Guests from 11 am to 3:00 pm. Our DJ will provide music and some up-lighting and announcements. Studio J Salon and Funky Me Jewelry will help the bride find the best way to express herself on her special day. We will continue the tour upstairs to the large and lovely Dressing Suites for the bride and groom and their party.”
Some history on the Old General Store, the Old General Store began with John Murray in 1885, and started out as a small store. It was destroyed in a fire in 1889, and John Murray and his brother, Nelson built another small store in 1905. John and Nelson decided to build a much larger store that they built around their existing store, while they continued daily business. When the new larger General Store was complete, they jacked up the small store and moved it around to the back of the new building and attached it there. Diana commented, “Mark and I are still amazed at some of the materials and workmanship that went into this wonderful building. We have pictures showing the building in its early years as well as pictures of the rest of the town in the early 1900s. The General Store continued to be owned by the Murray family for approximately 85 years. Many of our guests remember coming into the General Store when they were young for a quick stop heading off to camp or fish in the surrounding areas. Mark and I were the third owners when we purchased it in 1995, and renovated it to be a serviceable restaurant. We wanted to keep the wonderful ambiance it had by leaving as much as possible the way it was. Of course we had to add: heating and air conditioning, modern plumbing, and electricity, but we kept the old fir floors, tall ceilings, and re-purposed many of the items left behind over the 100 years preceding us. We operated as the “Old General Store Steakhouse & Saloon” for almost 16 years. We had a large menu full of great steaks and burgers like the “Roy Boy, Boss Hog and Judge Roy Bean.” During the first 10 years or so, the place was hopping at night. Mark’s Band, “Proud Cut” played Country Music and the crowd danced into the wee hours of the morning.”
When asked how long Diana has been doing this event, she replied, “We redirected our efforts from being a restaurant to a wedding and event center this last year. This is our second open house and we are trying to improve on it as we go along. Our goal this time is to find ways to help brides in this time of economic crunching to have everything they want at their wedding in a budget they can live with. Our vendors have found ways to help brides get the services they want at a price they can afford. The savings starts with our venue being offered at 50% off during the entire 2012 booking year, and a 25% discount in all of 2013.”
Diana shared what many people may not know about the Old General Store, “The “General Store Wedding and Event Center” is not limited to just weddings, we welcome senior balls, class reunions, memorials, corporate functions, Birthday parties, and just plain parties for any reason. The General Store will continue to be open each year for our twice annual Rodeo events to serve the Rodeo fans. We always have bands outside and inside, food, and cocktails for your enjoyment.”Those that are interested in attending the open house need to RSVP to Diana via email: Diana.email@example.com or call: 253 459-2124. For more information about the store, please visit: www.generalstoreweddingandeventcenter.com. “Our venue is really “one of a kind;” you just get a good feeling when you walk inside. It has the aura of the good times from the past. Nothing has really changed in the last 100 plus years, whether the General Store was a Mercantile in the early 1900s, a “Honky Tonk” in the 1990s, or a Wedding Center in the 2000s, it has always been a place where people gather to share their lives and enjoy a good conversation with friends old and new,” Diana concluded.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com