By Emily Stonehouse
The historic Robinson’s General Store in Dorset has closed its doors temporarily. As of Jan. 8 at 5 p.m., a sign appeared on the front door of the store, letting customers know that the “store is temporarily closed until further notice.” On their Google listing, their hours of operation have been changed to a red bar stating “temporarily closed,” and their voicemail cuts to dead air.
The news of the closure has left many locals scrambling to understand the sudden change, and wondering what the next steps will be.
Mike Hinbest, who took over ownership of Robinson’s in 2021, told the Times that his family has run into a series of personal and financial hardships over the past year. “We’ve lost everything,” said Hinbest, “we poured every single thing we had into this business.”
Hinbest said that he has received a series of threats and negative backlash from the online world, but he and his family have tried everything to make the store work. Between interest rates rising and the housing market crashing, Hinbest feels he has no other choices but to move on.
The Hinbest family are in the process of transacting the business back to the Robinson family, with whom they have had transparent communications with throughout the years, and were aware of this change. He noted that prior to the closure, he spoke to every single employee at Robinson’s, and each one of them was empathetic to the Hinbests personal situation. “The people who really know the story, they’re the ones who really care for us.”
Hinbest gave a shout-out to the community, for the support and care him and his family have received during this challenging time. He hopes that one day, he can continue to give back to the community in some capacity moving forward.