The Old Village Mercantile


Gracie Jenkins

The Old Village Mercantile in Caledonia, MO, is an original 1905 mercantile. It is resgeried as a National Historic Site. Roughly 20 years ago Steve and Nina Gilliam opened the store and slowly added antiques, the business was super slow. As time went on, business picked up and Nina started adding candy and then eventually added homemade premium ice cream, the flavors start at chocolate and go all the way to cookie monster which is a best selling, especially for little kids since the color is a bright blue! She then added more workers, she has added roughly over 20 people the past 10 years and the numbers keep going up as business gets busy during the fall and summers. With adding this help it keeps the busses running along.  


The Old Village Mercantile offers over five hundred different types of candy available and over twenty different flavors of fudge. Some of the best selling flavors are Divine Praline, Oreo Fudge and plain chocolate.  And there is also a coffee bar with different selections of drinks available. Not only is there coffee to drink, but customers can also pick from the 50 different types of coffee that they can grind so they can bring it home and enjoy!


Roughly 20,000 people come each year into the small town of Caledonia, population 196, to enjoy a celebration like the pumpkin festival that is always the second weekend in October. Every month there is a festival and it always brings more people into such a small town.These celebrations bring people together as this Covid movement has hit the small town pretty hard. The town has come together and has gotten over this small rough patch. As time passes by more business keeps popping up in the small town of Caledonia, small self owned businesses that are owned by great people.


This year the Old Village Mercantile and the rest of Caledonia was presented on TV by the Huckabee TV Show. The Old Village Mercantile is a ”one of a kind” store. As Nina has said she is blessed to work in an environment that brings smiles to faces every day. Not only does her work bring happiness to customers who come into the store, but the people she works with bring positiveness to her every single day. It’s hard to come around a store that has a very friendly atmosphere, and the staff is really friendly.