Family Store Utilizes Electronics, Connects With Customers

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WILLIAMSBURG - To look at it from the outside, you wouldn't think Crane's Country Store has found the fountain of youth, but it has in Williamsburg through the word of mouth. It's just changed a little in the 85 years the Crane's have had their store here in Williamsburg. Crane's word of mouth is now electronic.

"Word of mouth is great. But word of mouth, now online, is exponential," David Crane said.

David said they try to be electronically up-to-date in order to provide for their customers.

"We try to hide the technology. We're wifi so if someone has a laptop, they can come in," David said. "We have a computer but its hidden behind the counter so we're always checking online. We have a Facebook presence and Twitter."

When David took over the store, he modernized the business plan.

"You couldn't just rely on selling groceries and milk anymore. We expanded when the power plant came in in the 70s," David said.

Construction apparel became the store's niche, and now they ship it all over the world. The Crane's hope to maintain their reputation on line and in person: fair people; good people to work with; easy to talk to. It's the reputation that keeps customers, first-timers and old-timers pulling on this door handle.

"We've seen a lot of different people come and go and we've appreciate them all," Joe Crane, David's father said.

Crane's is a community staple that sells more than just the staples. They sell an experience. Looks like that fountain of youth will continue to run.