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Brown & Hopkins Welcomes Its 20th Owner in 215 Years
Elizabeth Yuill passes the torch of one of the oldest, continuously running general stores in America to a local woman

Chepachet, RI – June 21, 2024 – Brown & Hopkins Country Store, located in Rhode Island, was originally built in 1799 in Chepachet Village (part of Glocester) by Timothy Wilmarth as a residence and hattery. This beautiful 2.5-story, clapboard building was sold to Ira Evans in 1809 and became what it is today, a general store and cherished town landmark. It changed hands a few more times until 1921 when James Brown and William Hopkins became business partners and renamed the store, Brown & Hopkins. Now, after 215 years of continuous operation - and 20 years of successful expansion and ownership under Elizabeth Yuill - the torch is being passed to lifelong resident Cynthia Barlow.

“In November of 2023, Cynthia contacted me to ask if I would consider her as the next shopkeeper of Brown & Hopkins,” states current owner and shopkeeper, Elizabeth Yuill. “I had taken that same leap of faith about 20 years earlier by contacting the last owners. Once I met with Cynthia and her husband Scott, there was no doubt they would be a perfect match. I have always envisioned someone to come along who has the drive and desire to not only keep this old store thriving but to also take it to the next level of success. And I see that in Cindy. To say I will miss it would be a grave understatement, but one cannot ignore the power of the universe. I am certain I will be stopping in the shop often!”

Yuill has overseen three thriving shops since her first store, Goose Crossing, opened in 1988. In 2004, she purchased Brown & Hopkins and became the 19th owner of this famous store that has stood the test of time. She then spent the next two decades curating the offerings and creating an exceptional shopping experience that draws in thousands of repeat and new shoppers annually. After 36 years in the retail business, Yuill will truly miss her employees and customers but is also looking forward to retiring and spending more time traveling and enjoying life. She states, “I’ve never been bored a day in my life, and I look forward to treating each new day as an adventure.”

“I can’t thank Liz enough for choosing me, and my husband Scott, to be the 20th owners of this historic building and business,” said Cynthia Barlow. “She has done an amazing job preserving the past while creating a unique atmosphere that blends the old with the new. My husband and I were raised in Glocester: we were high school sweethearts, are raising our three children here, and have a deep love for this town and community. My father, Theodore Rudolph, was civic-minded and helped design and build the Korean-Vietnam Memorial in front of the Glocester Town Hall, just a few doors down from Brown & Hopkins. It’s been a lifelong dream to become the next steward of this general store, and I’m so grateful to Liz for making that dream come true.”

Barlow, who spent 30 years in corporate America as a marketer, culminating her tenure as a CEO, believes her time working for and with consumer-packaged-goods companies and manufacturers will serve her well as she transitions to running the store full-time. Having worked with or for larger corporations such as Hasbro, Disney, Summer Infant, and others, she is excited to return to her small-town roots, family, friends, and beloved community. The Barlow family will begin their ownership on or before June 25, 2024.

About Brown & Hopkins Country Store

Historically known as one of the oldest, continuously operating general stores in America since 1809, Brown & Hopkins has been a must-stop destination for residents and tourists from all over the country for the past 215 years. Located in Chepachet Village, which, in 1971, was the first district in Rhode Island to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. While the barrels of molasses, long underwear, rifles, and suspenders are no longer sold, one can find a treasure trove of gourmet foods, gifts, home décor, antiques, florals, and more in this historically preserved building. Brown & Hopkins Country Store is a perfect blend of the past and the present from its original penny candy counter and beloved relics dating back to the store’s first opening to a cornucopia of offerings for today’s customers. For more information please visit, 



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