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Guns 'n grub: Crawford's Confectionary 'a one-stop shop'

March 04, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Merle and Evelyn Crawford take care of business behind the counter at Crawford's Confectionary in Boonsboro while chatting with lunch patrons Deborah Tucker, left, and her mother, Julie Harris.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

Boonsboro resident Merle Crawford long ago figured out that mixing guns with burgers and fries might be good for business.

“I like to hunt, and people like to eat,” said Crawford, 71, owner of Crawford’s Confectionery on North Main Street in Boonsboro.

The store/restaurant sells food, but also sells hunting and fishing equipment and licenses.

“People can come here to eat and get what they need to go hunting or fishing,” said Boonsboro resident Marty Kaetzel. “The store has a little bit of everything.”

Kaetzel, 26, said he used to go to the store after every football game at Boonsboro High School. He said he doesn’t find it surprising that guns would be sold in a restaurant.

“It’s a way of life for many of us,” he said. “I’ve grown up doing this stuff.”

Pamela Rutherford of Boonsboro, who works at the store, said the eclectic mix of guns and food draws its share of attention.

The sign out front identifies the establishment this way: Restaurant Guns & Ammo.

“People who aren’t regulars come in just because they see that sign and are so curious,” she said. “I’ve never seen a store like it.”

Rutherford, 42, said part of the store’s appeal is the variety of products.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” she said. “You can get your hunting and fishing gear, and grab something to eat while waiting on it.”

The building that houses Crawford’s Confectionery at 12 N. Main St. in Boonsboro is more than 110 years old and was a confectionery as far back as 1897, according to documents at Boonsboro Town Hall from the Boonsboro Historical Society.

Crawford said he took ownership of the store in 1976.

“I lived in St. James and delivered ice cream in this area,” he said. “The ice cream company moved to Winchester (Va.) and I didn’t want to go with them, so I needed to make a living, and I saw this place for sale.”

“When I bought it, it had jewelry, no tables, cards, sandwiches and coffee,” he said. “I used to have a lot of farmers come in and buy things here.”

The store also sells over-the-counter medication, cards, candy, knives and other products.

Before Crawford owned it, the store was called Demmits, and had been owned by Hazel and Charles Demmit since the early part of the 20th century.

Hagerstown resident Ed Reeder, 67, who grew up in Boonsboro, said he has been going to the store since he was a kid.

“One Sunday morning, there was ice on the ground and I slipped down the street, but I still crawled in to the store,” he said. “This was the place to be.”
 
Kenneth Angle, 65, of Boonsboro, said he, too, has been going to the store since he was a child.

“I used to come here and buy toy trains,” he said. “I also would get root beer floats and banana splits.”

Angle said he goes to the store every day for the food, not the guns or fishing equipment.

“I haven’t gone hunting in a long time,” he said. “I enjoy the food, the atmosphere and the customers.”

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