Husband and wife Meredith Richard and Travis Arenburg drew inspiration for their carefully curated new country store and watering hole from their travels. They wanted to create a welcoming place where people can relax for a bit, enjoy a drink or a coffee and peruse a selection of locally made products, home accents and giftable items.
In collaboration with another couple, who are longtime friends, Polly Benson and Dick Olsen, “We started putting our ideas together and proceeded to build it,” Arenburg says of The Juniper General Store, which opened in late spring in the Golden Hills Centre in northwest Ocala.
Although they don’t offer prepared foods, in addition to beer and wine, guests can enjoy coffee drinks from the espresso bar and can create their own charcuterie board, with fresh cheese and salami, on the spot.
“We also let people bring in food, especially remote workers,” Richard notes. “And we have things you’d expect to see in a general store, like jams and jellies and pickles.”
In another thoughtful nod to those in search of an alternative workspace with an endless supply of caffeinated beverages, the store was designed with an abundance of plugs and outlets.
“As people transition throughout the day, we want them to be able to work, have business meetings or socialize,” Arenburg offers.
Richard shares that she and her husband came to this area because of their love of horses and that Benson and Olsen are thoroughbred breeders. In stocking their general store, the foursome made sure to include a wide array of crafts and art items from local makers and artists, including paintings of horses and finely handcrafted leatherworks.