For people living along the coast, general stores play an important role. They make survival easier in isolated communities by fulfilling several basic needs: supplies, socialising, gossip, culture, laughter and a place to wet your whistle. A general store always reflects the character of its whereabouts as well as the personality of its owner. If you want to encounter the life and charm of a coastal community, pop into Hellesøy General Store. The shop’s regulars have their own named coffee cups hanging on the wall, the freezer doubles as a banquet table, and visitors are encouraged to sign a guest book.
In the outer reaches of northern Øygarden, a general store serves the fifty or so residents of Hellesøy. But the shop also attracts radio and TV stations, flocks of tourists and other international visitors, all of whom want to experience the unusual attraction: Hellesøy General Stores. From the outside, it looks like a modest grocery shop. Inside you'll find the soul of a whole community. It’s filled with peripheral goods from floor to ceiling: food, films, flowers, books, knick-knacks, gifts, toys, antiques, postcards, life vests and fishing equipment. If you visit at Christmas time, you’ll find festive foods hanging from the ceiling. They have realised something about great customer service: a store’s visitors should be treated more like guests than customers. The guest book at the front door is crammed with messages from visitors from around the globe. The freezer doubles as a table at which to feast, between the grocery shelves and the shopping trolleys. With a store that offers fresh, free coffee and serves freezer-top feasts, do you think there’s anyone on Hellesøy who doesn’t enjoy great customer service? FACILITIES Free coffee, a great local meeting place and a totally personal shopping experience. Notice the creative shelf-stacking – it’s a work of art in itself.