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Historic Jack’s Country Store Honored as WFIA’s 2023-24 Community Service Award

Jack’s Country Store, Washington state’s oldest retail business, has been recognized by the WFIA for its community service.

Founded in 1885 J.A. Morehead and Co., when the area was still part of Washington Territory, Jack’s Country Store maintains traditions of rural America. The store’s wood floors, rolling track ladders, enormous oak showcases, rotary dial phones, and a beautiful stained glass ceiling are all functional fixtures in the store. The store is situated close to the center of the North Beach Peninsula and was originally founded as a church camp.

The business changed hands a few times over the years. Its latest incarnation began in 1969 when Jack and Lucille Downer purchased the store. Today, their son, Tom Downer, and his family run the store.

“At a time when seemingly nothing lasts forever, it’s good to know that Jack’s Country Store continues to serve the people of Ocean Park and all who visit,” said WFIA President & CEO Tammie Hetrick. “Jack’s is a fixture in the community because it consistently meets the needs of its customers. They carry a wide variety of products, from groceries to hardware and anything else you may need for your home. And if they don’t carry it, they will gladly order it,” she added.

The store’s resilience over the years has made it a pillar of the community, always there to serve people through good times and bad. A recent fire devastated the community, but true to form, Jack’s Country store was there to help people through it.

“Often times, a community doesn’t fully comprehend how ingrained a store like Jack’s is until they face a significant challenge, like a fire or natural disaster,” said Hetrick. “Tom and his staff never hesitate to help out, to lend a hand or to provide resources in the middle of a crisis.”

The store is beloved by the local community, as well as a destination for visitors. Known far and wide for the huge inventory and broad array of merchandise, it is nearly impossible for two or more people to agree upon the single most unique feature of Jack’s Country Store. Food lovers have their favorites, including mouth-watering jerky, sausages, smoked salmon, and smoked oysters from our in-store smokehouse –treats so good that they have helped the store become one of the largest sellers of smokehouses in the nation.

“It’s an honor to recognize Tom and his family, who have maintained a commitment to the people of the North Beach peninsula all these years,” added Hetrick.

PHOTO: Jack’s Country Store owner Tom Downer (L) and store general manager Mark Bolden, pose with the WFIA 2023-24Community Service Award. The award was presented at a surprise ceremony held May 7 at the store in Ocean Park. (Photo courtesy of WFIA)