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Gandee’s General Store goes “BUCKWILD”

By KAYLIN SEARLES
On March 31, 2013

Gandee’s General Store celebrated its grand opening Saturday with a guest appearance by Shain Gandee from MTV’s hit show “BUCKWILD.”

The store offered free hot dogs to the first 300 customers. “Big Buck Country” 101.5, was also there to celebrate the opening.

Located in Crown City, Ohio, the family-run store was crowded with “BUCKWILD” viewers. Fans from Cincinnati, Pennsylvania and just down the road came to check out the store and meet Gandee.

Tiffany Lambert, a “BUCKWILD” fan, made the trip from Cincinnati to meet her favorite character on the show.

“I can’t wait to meet him, he is by far my favorite character on the show,” Lambert said. “He’s really funny.”

After a long drive, Lambert and her mother showed up eager and an hour early.

“I love the show because it reminds me of my friends in Cincinnati and back home,” Lambert said. “We drove three hours to get here, it’s a once in a lifetime chance.”

Shalena Callahan, Gandee’s older sister, is a third generation owner of Gandee Candy and was there to help the family out and sell the now famous candy.

“My Grandma started making the candy years ago. When we first started, we did it to raise money for people in need. Every holiday we would give it to people to pay bills or buy presents for their kids,” Callahan said. “Then MTV came to us and told us we should make the company, take it nationwide.”

Things have changed a little for Callahan since her brother started the show, but she said her younger brother has been the same way since he was three years old.

“It’s weird for me that girls go crazy over him. Shain is Shain,” Callahan said. “Him being here today will bring more fans in and people out to see the store.“
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gandee promoted Gandee Candy, took pictures with excited fans and signed autographs on anything from rocks, to jackets and cell phone cases.

“I’m here opening a business, I reckon,” Gandee said. “It’s awesome that people came from Cincinnati to see me. It lets me know people up there are watching the show.”

The second season of “BUCKWILD” has recently started filming, and Gandee said fans can expect the same things from last season, but a lot more of them.

“There’ll be more mudding,” Gandee said. “Hopefully I’ll only go through one truck. It‘s hard to tell though; maybe like four or five.”

Ashley Gandee Lewis, Gandee’s second cousin, is owner of the new Gandee’s General Store with her husband Chad. The store had its soft opening last Monday.

“There has been so much of a bigger response to the actual grand opening because we advertised that Shain will be there,” Lewis said. “Since we’re family, he said he’d do it.”

The Lewis’ also own Graley’s Auto Shop in Huntington and said they bought the general store so someone would not put a bar in the vacant building.

“There’s nothing around it either way to buy anything,” Lewis said. “We want it more to be a community based thing, where people can come have a cup of coffee and watch the news together. More country, more hometown, more personal.”

Gandee’s General Store offers a variety of products, including, but not limited to, a full craft store, hand crafted wood, fresh produce, fishing and hunting supplies, beer and Mary Kay products.

Kaylin Searles can be contacted at searles1@marshall.edu.

 

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