Owners of Mom and Pop's Hippy Shop had planned to move their store from Buckhannon to a new location near Weston. But they now say that won't happen.
Concerns over the sale of synthetic but legal drugs in Lewis County have been high for some time, and Mom and Pop's Hippy Shop was caught in the crossfire. Owners of the shop said they never sold any bath salts in their stores, only legal potpourri. After hearing the outcry from the community, they planned to eliminate those items altogether. But about two weeks ago, the store was robbed, and owners said enough is enough.
"It's just not meant to be. There's too many rumors flying around, and too many opinions have already been drawn of what the hippie shop is going to be, and I just don't think it's a good place for Mom and Pop's Hippy Shop to be," said Rose Burrows, who owns the store with her husband John.
Burrows said she's not sure what they'll do next. The robbers stole almost $10,000 worth of merchandise, a cost that the owners will have to absorb themselves. Lewis County Commissioner Agnes Queen said that some of the other merchandise the business planned to offer, like the tie-dye T-shirts or jewelry, would have been welcome, but the possibility of any kind of drug sales, legal or otherwise, may have been too much.
"Whenever you tie that in to what they had to offer in other counties, and bring it to Lewis County, it scares people. We've got small children, the community has grandchildren, small children, nieces, nephews, and the whole fear factor I think was a big part of it that scared people," said Queen.
Burrows and her husband also own Burrows' Bargains, a one-dollar store in downtown Weston. She said they plan to keep that store open while they figure out what to do with the merchandise from Mom and Pop's. The future of that store is now up in the air.
"Other than that, I'm not really sure what we're going to do. It's just left us in a conundrum, and we just have to wait and see what our future holds from now on," Burrows said.
Burrows said the dollar business, Burrows' Bargains, is doing well, and for now, she and her husband plan to keep that store open.