The History of Our General Store

Family Owned and Operated Since 1939 

Charlie Johns Store was established in 1939 by Charles H. Johns, as a grocery and general store located at the four corners in Speculator, NY. Dean Lane purchased the business from Charlie Johns in 1971. By the mid 1980s, the store was ready for a major expansion and moved to a new building just behind the original location in 1986. This new store allowed for all of the modern amenities found in supermarkets, such as a deli and bakery. There was also an expansion of our popular grocery and general store format, all while maintaining the old-time feel and look of a classic country store.

“Family owned and operated, we’ve enjoyed serving Speculator and the surrounding Adirondack area since 1939. When you shop at Charlie Johns, your hard-earned dollars stay in your community – the same community we love and support.”    — Jonathan Lane, Owner

Dean’s three daughters each put their efforts into the business, mostly helping them through their high school and college years.  Dean’s son Jonathan has been active in the business since the early 1990s and has taken over ownership since Dean’s passing in 2013.charlie johns speculator ny location

The Lanes have continued the basic business philosophy that Charlie Johns began when he owned the store. However, there has been a continuous effort to  improve the business using modern technology.

The 12,000 square foot store carries a full selection of groceries, produce, and fresh meats. There’s also a wonderful deli and bakery. What really makes this general store unique is its extensive selection of general merchandise in what our patrons call “the center aisle.” This area includes clothing, housewares, bedding, appliances, hardware, electrical supplies, plumbing supplies, and even automotive parts.

Our general store also caters to the outdoor enthusiasts that come to the Adirondacks to enjoy the beauty and great outdoors. There’s an impressive selection of camping gear on sale. We have tents, sleeping bags, air mattresses, Coleman stoves, and lanterns—virtually everything you might need while enjoying the outdoor activities in the area. The store also boasts one of the largest selections of books about the Adirondacks, with well over 300 book titles, as well as local maps and guides. If you come during the summer months, you will see a large selection of inflatable rafts, floats, and towable tubes on display to help you take advantage of the local pristine lakes. When the weather starts to change in the spring, there’s a large selection of flowers, lawn supples, and garden sundries.

If you’re in Speculator, NY – Don’t forget to stop by Charlie Johns for groceries, beverages, dry goods, or hardware.