Mike and Renee Wilson’s daughter Ada-Mae (above) is just one of many additions to Shores Sisters Farm Market and Bake Shoppe. There appears to be no end in sight for expansion of the popular produce and dry goods store. The couple cites faith in God and the continuous support of family for their Wysox Township success story.
Story by Rick Hiduk
(Read more stories like this at www.wysoxtownship.org. This story was first posted in October 2014)
While many family businesses in the Wysox area took decades to build and have gone through many changes, the Shores family achieved success and iconic status in the community with relative swiftness by building on a central theme of providing the public with the freshes produce possible.
To some, it may seem as if Shores Sisters store at the corner of Route 6 and Laning Creek Road has always been there, but the business that customers visit today bears little resemblance to previous incarnations, growing rapidly in recent years and showing no signs of slowing down.
The Shores presence at the intersection on the Golden Mile was established in 1980, when Glenda Shores opened Shores Short Stop (above), selling soups and deli salads and sandwiches with help from her husband, Norm. Glenda encountered some health problems in the early 1990s and had to close the business in 1994.
A full decade later, Norm and Glenda’s son, Glenn Shores, made a proposal to his daughters Raya and Renee, then 19 and 16, respectively, as the summer of 2004 approached.
“He said, ‘You girls are either going to milk cows or sell corn this summer,’” Renee recalled in September 2015 interview.
Glenn was a cattle dealer with a farm in Sheshequin Township, and one of his farming friends was Tom Champluvier of Laceyville who grew corn. “He was looking for some more outlets to sell his corn,” said Renee. “So, we decided to sell sweet corn rather than milk cows.”
Raya and Renee also sold fresh tomatoes from their tent along Route 6 and quickly endeared themselves to local residents with their sincere smiles and welcoming personalities.
After graduating from the North Rome Christian School in 2006, Renee was at the Champluvier farm on Spring Hill one day when she met Tom Champluvier’s grandson, Mike Wilson, in a cornfield. Mike had graduated from Wyalusing Valley High School in 2005. They were married in 2011, while Mike (with Renee below) was serving in the Marine Corps.
Renee went to Eastern University in Philadelphia to study business management, but she was not fond of college and returned. Raya married Kyle Wohltmann in 2007 and moved to Delaware.
In 2008, Glenn helped Renee purchase a 14-by-40-foot skid shed (above) that became the first permanent roof over the business. Her sister, Rachel Shores, who married Jason Daniel, came into the business, and the family added flowers, pumpkins (below) and Christmas trees to the product line, effectively extending the operation to three seasons.
After serving tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Mike returned home and also entered the business full time. “With him out of the service, we could really focus on it,” Renee related. “We decided to take the business beyond produce and really see what we could do with it.”
It took only three years for Shores Sisters Produce to outgrow its relatively new accommodations.
By 2012, Glenn was growing corn and pumpkins for the store on his 35-acre farm in Hornbrook. A new 40-by-75-foot structure (above) was erected, and the bulk of the business moved to into it. Renee’s mother, Patty Shores, opened a quilt shop (below) in the new building and began teaching quilting classes in the renovated skid shed.
Two greenhouses were constructed, and a bakery was added in 2013. In 2014, Shores Sisters’ dry good selection was expanded, and cheese and freshly butchered meat were added to the line of products (below) that was still largely seasonal.
“It just kept growing,” said Renee, noting that every product they have introduced has proven successful. “The Lord has blessed it, and we’ve had a lot of help along the way. The community has been a great support.”
Renee and Mike are also quick to credit their parents Glenn and Patty Shores and Tom and Barb Champluvier for their support. “They were very instrumental in getting us going. We couldn’t have done it without them,” Renee stated, adding, “They were pretty good match-makers too.”
The Shores family grew again in 2014 when Mike and Renee brought daughter Ada-Mae into the world. The cheery and playful tyke is not the only big change in their lives, however. For the first time, Shores Sisters Produce will remain open this winter after the last of the Christmas trees, wreaths and holiday arrangements have been sold.
“People want to be able to get their meat, eggs and baked goods throughout the winter, so that’s the next step for us,” Renee explained, adding that the store will be open on Fridays and Saturdays until Spring. “We will always be closed on Sundays.”
The business is still largely a family affair, with “Grammie” Glenda still stopping by to help on occasion. In fact, Mike and Renee are considering bringing back Glenda’s line of deli-style foods that were sold from the site more than 20 years ago. Glenda’s potato salad was especially popular, Renee recalled. Norm Shores passed away this past spring.
The Shores and the Wilsons are proud of their farming heritage and cherish the relationships they have developed with other local growers and meat and cheese producers that allows them to provide quality fresh produce to area customers at reasonable prices. They also value their hard-working employees – as many as 16 in peak season – for their contribution to the success of the business.
To learn more, interested readers may follow Shores Sisters Farm Market on Facebook.
Shores Sisters Farm Market has sold Christmas trees since 2008, after which the family traditionally took a break. This year, the shop will stay open throughout the winter so that patrons can get the meats, cheeses and baked goods (below) to which they have become accustomed.
Rachel Shores Daniel, holding daughter Jayla in the summer of 2009 (below), has been at Shores Sisters Farm Market full time since 2008.
In about 1981, Bradford County Dairy Princess Jean Sheeley (Lindsey) participated in a promotion at Shores Short Stop, which was operated through 1994 by Glenda Shores.