Heart of Louisiana: Worthmore's Five and Dime
RAYNE, LA (WVUE) - In the middle of the great depression, Worthmore's Five and Dime store opened in downtown Rayne, and 80 years later, it's still open for business with very little change. That includes the original cash register, which only records purchases up to $9.99.
"So we sell merchandise, say 150, 200, 90 dollars, 80 dollars, well I put it in in increments of nine until I get to the amount that I need," said Norman Faulk.
Faulk took over working the register after his wife passed a few years ago. And she had taken over the store after the death of her sister-in-law, who owned the business.
"On her deathbed, pleaded with Nettie, my wife, 'Please don't close that store,'" Faulk said.
That commitment is just fine with loyal customers and with Marie Venable, who began working here 50 years ago.
"I would go to Rayne High half a day, and I would work the other half a day with Ms. Hanks," Venable said.
And if you're old enough to remember a five and dime store, you'll feel right at home in Worthmore's. When I was a kid, this was my favorite part of the five and dime store.
"The toys!" Venable said. "We have the yoyos, we have the pickup sticks."
And there is an amazing assortment of odds and ends.
Mcnamara: "This is something that's always been here."
Mcnamara: "You have no idea what it is."
Venable: "No. These things have been hanging on here for 50 years. But we don't know what they are. Every time somebody comes, they play with them."
You'll find clothes pins, diaper pins and crawfish nets. Dog collars are next to the toilet brushes. There are parts to fix a lamp, disguise yourself or crown a king. It's a classic five and dime.
"Way back yonder I guess it dealt with most of the smaller items that did not cost much," Faulk said.
McNamara: "Can I find anything that's either a five or a dime?"
Faulk: "Today it will be a little hard to do."
"Everything in here is very unique," Becky Gremillion said.
Gremillion and Delores Leblanc drove here from Lafayette to shop.
"We love this store," Gremillion said. "It takes us back."
"Yeah, it takes us back to the good ole days," Leblanc said.
And that appears to be the secret to success here.
"We take pride in having merchandise in the same area, the same place as it was since the store opened," Faulk said.
McNamara: "What you think would happen if one day just for fun you moved everything around?"
Faulk: "They'd probably run me off!"
Something else that hasn't changed - when you walk in, you'll be asked if you need help finding anything. But of course, most customers know exactly where to look.
Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.