COVINGTON - For many folks, Christmas in Covington just wouldn't be the same without a trip to Patrick's to buy a bag of candy or a basket of fruit.
The Patrick family intends to keep that tradition in place for many years to come - just in a different location.
Patrick's will move to a new building on the Covington By-Pass across from Indian Creek Golf Course this summer, said Jan Patrick, who owns the business with her husband, Gary.
"We just feel like it's time. We've got so many big buildings going up around us," she said.
Loyal customers need not worry.
"We're not changing anything, just locations," Patrick said.
The new store will be constructed by Sunbelt Builders, and the target move-in date is June or July, she said.
Patrick's has been at its current Elm Street location for 16 years. Prior to that, it was at the site of the Newton County Judicial Center for 44 years.
The Patrick family has owned the business since 1948. Gary Patrick took over after his father, E.L. Patrick, died in 1987.
Jan Patrick describes it as an "old-fashioned general store."
"People say when they walk in here, they step back to the early 1800s. That's how we try to keep it," she said.
The Patricks are so committed to keeping things old fashioned that cashiers do not use calculators.
"Let's say you come in and buy five items. We list those items on a bag and do the taxes and everything. We put your items in that bag and that paper bag is your receipt," she said.
Patrick's is known for its country hams, old-fashioned hoop cheese and, especially during the holidays, fruit and candy.
"We sell close to 50 tons of candy this time of year, and we sell a tractor-trailer load of fruit," Patrick said.
The store also has a full service quilt shop, carries supplies such as feed and seed and work boots, and in the spring, turns into a garden shop with plants and flowers.
Patrick said to her knowledge, the property where the store now sits has not been sold.
Property owner Rob Fowler could not be reached for comment.
Crystal Tatum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.