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Longtime Scotland County clothing store set to close after 65 years

Longtime Scotland County clothing store set to close after 65 years
Longtime Scotland County clothing store set to close after 65 years


In 1959, a Scotland County staple opened its doors.

After John Cook lost his political job for the county, he and his wife, Maxine, took a chance and first opened Cook's men's store in Downing.

“(They) took a leap of faith and bought a general store in Downing Missouri from Warrant Officer Slavin who owned the grocery store, and that was in 1959, and in 1965 we expanded our business here until Memphis,” said Joyce Cook, John and Maxine’s daughter. .

During this time, the store would become a huge draw for the county, with its unique service attracting visitors from three different states.

“Iowa, Illinois and northeast Missouri have always been good customers for us and men's clothing stores are in short supply,” Cook said. “So we’re probably the last ones in this area that I know of.”

The store, like many small businesses, saw a decline during the COVID-19 pandemic due to inventory issues.

Then, on August 9 last year, co-founder John Cook died.

Maxine and the couple's daughter, Joyce, still run the store, but after being in business for decades, they decided it was time to close the store and retire.

“We just felt like we were here, doing it for 65 years, and things changed and Dad passed away in August, he was a very important part of it and his mother is not able to work in the store like many,” Cook said.

The cooks wanted to thank customers old and new, as well as the staff who have supported the business throughout its long history.

The store wasn't just a place to buy clothes, it was a place to create family memories.

“Customers who have been with us since 1959 or for several generations,” Cook said. “Dad always talked about the boys coming to their father's house to buy them their first pair of boots, and now he saw several grandparents and great-grandparents doing that too. He was really proud of it.”

The store's owners say the store will be open until the end of July.




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