New ‘General’ in charge

Published 11:08 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Eric Bielby remembers buying penny candy as a child. The cashier would see Bielby and his friends coming and give them little paper bags to fill.
Now that he is the new owner of downtown Washington’s The General’s Store, he hopes it will be the favorite spot for every generation. Bielby plans to offer smoothies, coffee and, of course, a variety of penny candies.
“It probably won’t be a penny, but I’m working on it,” he said.
Bielby is shopping around for a wholesaler that will enable him to offer the large varieties of candies he remembers from his childhood.
Bielby grew up in the Simpson and Grimesland areas of Pitt County. He currently calls Greenville home.
For more than 20 years, Bielby has owned and operated a business that contracts with local hospitals to install and replace partition curtains.
Bielby purchased The General’s Store last week after two days of training with the previous owner, Richard Snow.
“I’ve been in the service industry a long time and looked around at different businesses,” Bielby said. “I really enjoyed the store. This has a little bit of everything.”
He plans to slowly introduce more products like organic dog food, pet supplies, jewelry, art and a smoothies bar.
He also hopes to do a little bit of redecorating, adding new shelving, a coffee bar and seating where people may socialize.
“I guess I plan on doing a lot. It’s just not an overnight thing,” Bielby said.
The General’s Store is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.