Town board holds business spotlight featuring the Canada Lake Store

Merryn Byrnes, whose family owns and operates Canada Lake Store and Marine, speaks about the store during the business spotlight session of the town of Caroga’s regular board meeting Wednesday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

CAROGA — The town board held a business spotlight during their regular meeting Wednesday which featured the Canada Lake Store and Marine.

Town board member Kent Kirch said the business spotlight held during meetings is to help promote local businesses.

“It gives us the chance to hear a little about our local businesses and maybe meet the owner if you haven’t met them and just hear a little about their business,” Kirch said.

There to speak about the local business and everything it entails was Merryn Byrnes, whose family owns the store.

Family owned and operated, the Canada Lake Store and Marine has been in business for about 45 years. The store was purchased in 1973 as an Adirondack general store and was expanded into the marine in 1979 by becoming a Mercury outboard engine dealer. Today, the marina has grown to include new and pre-owned boats, motors, trailer sales, a full service center, a parts department and two large winter storage facilities.

“We have now two highly trained mechanics too for that marina,” Byrnes said.

She said her mom also ran a little post office for the Canada Lake community and was paid $1 a year to do it.

“There was a little corner in our store where she did the mail and had the little post office box,” Byrnes said. “After a while it became too much and she got rid of that.”

Now that spot in the store is a cafe known as The Lake Effect Cafe. The cafe has since been open for 15 years.

The cafe includes coffee and homemade baked goods. There are also breakfast and lunch foods. Gluten free options are available as well. The cafe is open only during the summer. It is open on weekends in June and open everyday during the summer. This year the cafe will not be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

“I just want to highlight that because some people don’t even know that corner of the store exists,” Byrnes said. “You can walk in and out of the store without even going to that end.”

Byrnes said a fact that people might not know about the store is that it is only three miles from Caroga Lake. They are open 361 days a year. In the summer they are open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and during the winter from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

They have a full-service deli that began eight years ago. The gift selections have also expanded by not just catering to Canada Lake, but also Caroga Lake, Pine Lake, Pleasant Lake, Stoner Lake and Pecks Lake.

Canada Lake Store and Marine also does boat rentals, canoes, pontoon boats, fishing boats and paddle board rentals.

“If you haven’t ever checked us out, we’re just over the hill,” Byrnes said.

By Josh Bovee

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