After more than 40 years in Beverly, Bobbie’s will close Friday
BEVERLY — Bobbie’s, a business which has been a mainstay in Beverly for more than 40 years, will close this week.
Due to health issues experienced by owner Bobbie Smith and her husband Jim, the popular convenience store, which opened up as a gas-only station back in 1979, will be closing its doors for good on Friday.
“Jim fell off the ladder over in the garage two Saturdays ago and broke his hip,” Smith told The Inter-Mountain Wednesday. “I told him that I think the fall was our wakeup call. I was diagnosed (with preleukemia) last month and he fell off this ladder this month, so I told him I think it’s time to call it quits.”
Over the years people have flocked from this area and beyond for Bobbies’ homemade cooking, which featured a daily special each day such as the chicken and dumplings that were served on Tuesday.
“If you were looking for food, you always knew you could go to Bobbie’s to get something good to eat, from her pepperoni rolls to her daily specials,” said customer Lisa Parrish, who lives within walking distance of the store. “When we heard the news that the store was closing, me and my family were heartbroken. Of course we want her to take care of herself because her health comes first, but Bobbie’s is desperately going to be missed in Beverly.”
Some time after opening, Smith added a deli at the store to sell food along with the gas. She later added country decor and primitives to sell and then started making bakery goods such as cakes. The hot dogs at Bobbie’s are renowned, as are the pepperoni rolls and chicken salad.
“Almost everything is homemade and that’s why it’s so good,” Smith said. “I like to make the sweets, that’s my favorite, but people really seem to love our hot dogs and pepperoni rolls.”
Missy Graham, who has worked at the store for a month, says that Beverly won’t be the same without Bobbie’s.
“I’m going to hate it when she closes, because I’ve been coming to this store my whole life,” she said. “Like a lot of people, this store has always been here for me. I’m 44 years old and this place has been here since I was a baby. Like most people I’m going to miss the hot dogs and pepperoni rolls.”
Smith said as much as her customers are going to miss her and her cooking, the sentiment is returned.
“I’m going to really miss my customers,” Smith said. “A lot of them have reached out to me with some of the texts, some of them I can’t even finish reading because it just breaks my heart. But it was time, 42 years of doing this, I’ve missed out on a lot of vacations and grandkids’ ball games. I always put the customers first.”
The sign outside Bobbie’s reads, “We love to spoil our customers.” And if you ask the regulars, they agree.
“It’s a friendly atmosphere every time you go in there,” Parrish said. “Out of all of the places I’ve lived, it’s the best mom and pop place I’ve been to.”
Although Friday is the last day the store will be open, Bobbie has left a glimmer of hope for her food fans that this may not be the end of them eating her delicious grub.
“Maybe next summer when I get to feeling better, I may open on some Fridays and sell some stuff like pepperoni rolls, chicken salad and peanut butter candy,” she said. “Maybe I will also make some cakes, hot dog chili or whatever I can think of. That will give me something to do, because I’m so used to working all the time.”
Bobbie noted she has started to feel a little bit better in recent weeks.
“When I was diagnosed with preleukemia, I was really sick in the beginning, but I’m getting along pretty well now,” she said. “I’m feeling a lot better, but I’m still a little short of breath and that’s really the only issue I’m having right now. I appreciated all the kind words of support everyone has sent me.”