Doerksen Country Store

Meet Karen Hammond: the face behind Port Rowan’s country supply store, warmly known to locals as “Doerksen’s.”

Karen has been managing her family’s store since 2011 when her father retired and sold the business. Prior to that, “Doerksen's” had been many things: a trucking company, a fertilizer supplier, a grain-handling facility and a livestock feed store. The current store location was purchased in 1976 where it finally became known as Doerksen’s Country Store. These days, the focus is on being the place people can count on for hardware, tools, pet supplies, feed, outdoor and gardening needs. When we asked Karen what the future holds for Doerksen’s, it was clear that how the business changes will be entirely dependent on the needs of the locals, in much the same way that Doerksen’s has become what it is today. “It’s evolving as we go” says Karen, who is frequently changing up the store’s inventory and tailoring the space to accommodate customers' needs. As someone who was born and raised in Port Rowan, Karen is proud to be such an integral part of the community. “I like the fact that I can support and be a part of my hometown,” she says. “And I’m thrilled with the support that we get from everybody who lives here. I can say... all of the newbies that have come to town, they’re excited to be part of the community and it’s really nice to see everyone getting involved and supporting all the businesses.” When we asked Karen what makes Doerksen’s successful, she said, “The simple things. Our willingness to do what we can to help people. That’s what I hope gives them a positive feeling and has them coming back.” Thankfully, Doerksen’s has continued to do well despite small business closures and lockdowns. “With the number of people who are stuck at home or working from home, many became a lot more self-reliant,” says Karen. “They’re growing gardens, raising chickens, pigs, cows -- just doing all of the things that we carry products for. And it seems that everybody has gotten a puppy. We’ve been very fortunate through all of this.”





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