Located in a century-old building, Duck Island General Store is a step back in time. But the spirit behind the new coffee shop and local shopping spot in the Duck Island neighborhood is forward-thinking. Jay Demagall, owner of Forest City Brewery, says he was inspired to create Duck Island General Store as a space to keep supporting the local economy, especially vendors from the West Side Market. “Every economic study shows if you buy things from your neighbors that money stays in the local economy,” says Demagall. “The general store might be kind of an old idea but buying local has been making a comeback for quite some time. I think this is just another step in that direction.” Here are three things to know about the new local-focused store.
Keeping It Local: You can seriously get anything at this place: syrup, sugar, eggs, meat, produce, baked good, potato chips, cheese, salsas and, of course, beer. While local coffee roasters are the focus, the shop features more than 50 local brands, including Wake Robin Fermented Foods and Hartzler Dairy. Demagall’s goal is to give back to the local economy. “When you spend money in the neighborhood, that money doesn’t go to some corporate conglomerates,” Demagall says. “It creates jobs and income for people so they can buy a beer or coffee.”
Cup Of Joe: Duck Island General Store serves up local coffee, cold brew on tap and local teas from six different roasters, including Anchor and Forge, Six Shooter Coffee and Ready Set Coffee Roasters. The coolers are also full of flavored sodas and other cold drinks, and on tap is beer, cocktails and Forest City’s house-made root beer. “I think we’re the only brewery-slash-coffee shop in town,” says Demagall. “We have here several local roasters came out of the woodwork to help out.”
Nostalgia’s In The Name: While the design may be simple, history is ingrained in Duck Island General Store, from the century-old building to the shared, 10,000-square-foot traditional beer garden with origins from 1865. The 1,000-square-foot coffee shop’s decor is simple, mostly coming from salvage yard Rebuilder’s Exchange in Cleveland. However, after Forest City Brewery shut down for a second time due to customers not wearing masks, Demagall asks visitors to stay safe and wear masks. We suggest social distancing in the beer garden. “We only allow three people in the store at one time,” he says. “We want to keep people safe.”
When You Go: 2135 Columbus Road, Suite B, Cleveland, facebook.com/duckislandgeneralstore