Just across the railroad tracks in Anacoco is a store that prides itself on serving the local community. The Anacoco Mercantile embodies the tradition of a general store by being a “one-stop-shop.”
The Anacoco Mercantile is a staple of the community and owners Robert and Angela Hyatt want it to stay that way for years to come.
The Hyatts bought the store in 2006 from original owners Mervin and Linda Averitt. Robert Hyatt spoke to the Leesville Daily Leader and said that his desire to spend more time with his children inspired him to purchase the business.
“I was working in Lake Charles as a Federal Probation Officer and I was missing out on my little girl that was growing up,” Hyatt said. “I was leaving early in the morning, and coming home late at night. I heard the business was for sale. I talked to Mr. Averitt, and he and I talked quite a bit. It was originally going to be sold to someone else but that deal fell through. He called me back and asked if I was still interested. I said absolutely. We jumped in feet first after that.”
Mervin Averitt helped Hyatt’s with the transition after they purchased the store. Sadly he passed away six months after selling the store. Robert Hyatt expressed his gratitude toward Mervin and his family for their support over the years. Hyatt maintains a relationship with Averitt’s children and grandchildren.
Hyatt is a graduate of Northwestern State University where he obtained his degree in Criminal Justice. Needless to say, running a store like the Anacoco Mercantile was a new experience with its own challenges. Luckily, Hyatt had help in the beginning from Mervin Averitt who helped him through the transition in the following months after the sale.
The Anacoco Mercantile is known for many things. It’s a hardware store, grocery store, feed store, and a deli, all rolled into one.
“We want to be like your old hardware and mercantile store from days gone by,” Hyatt said. “We want our customers to come to us for anything they need. If they need to buy groceries, we’ve got them covered. If they need a new light switch, we can help them out. If they’re hungry, we’ll feed them. We have hot food and a deli in the back. We’ve even got food for your animals. We’ve got feed for dogs, cats, chickens, cows and deer. We’ve got a little bit of everything so we can give the people in our community what they need.”
According to the cooks at Anacoco Mercantile they make “the best burgers you’ll find at a hardware store.”
The Hyatts take pride in being the owners of a local business where the money stays in the local community. Robert Hyatt is a native of Hornbeck, and his wife Angela is from Anacoco. They both live in Anacoco and love being part of the Anacoco community.
Hyatt noted that although it’s a lot of hard work running a small business, and competing with national chains like Dollar General, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I work day and night,” Hyatt said. “At home, I work on paperwork after the kids go to bed. Then I get up and do it all again the next day. It’s a lot of work, but It’s been very rewarding. We’ve met a lot of great people in our community that we wouldn’t have if we weren’t doing this. It’s been a learning experience. I owe a debt of gratitude to all the employees who taught me so much when we first started.”
Hyatt issued an invitation to everyone who hasn’t visited The Anacoco Mercantile to come by and see them some time. “Stop in and give us a look,” Hyatt said. “You’ll see some things you didn’t know we had.”
The Anacoco Mercantile is located at 1678 Front St. in Anacoco. For more information log on to their Facebook Page.