Blue eatery, bright future: Assist sought to open Lumberton diner as restaurant & store

By John Hamilton - [email protected]

The Lumberton General Store logo.

The Lumberton General Store logo.

Courtesy photo

LUMBERTON — Locals are looking to show love to the community’s history — as well as area restaurant and shopping needs with locally sourced foods — by revamping an old diner.

Emma Buchanan and her husband Sam Ginn are looking to open the Lumberton General Store on U.S. 68.

The Lumberton General Store, owned and operated by the couple, will serve classic American breakfast and lunch and have a small grocery store at what was previously the Lumberton 68 Family Restaurant — also known as “the blue restaurant.”

They’ll also offer coffees and eventually they hope to offer soft-serve ice cream, all using handmade ingredients.

“Our goal is to work with local producers, using their products in our menus whenever possible,” said Ginn. “We believe that our region produces top-quality food, and we want to provide a place where the community can come together, enjoy good food, and be treated right.”

Ginn currently teaches philosophy at Southern State Community College, while Buchanan is busy with their one-year-old, being an assistant manager with the Clinton County Farmers Market, and working with That Girl’s Flowers.

Both have been working hard in the hopes of having the general store open by the end of the year.

The two started a GoFundMe to help get started. They’ve currently raised over $1,600 of their $15,000 goal.

Buchanan has dreamed of opening the building again ever since it closed, and she has a strong connection to it.

“I would tell Sam all about my dream when we lived in California. After we moved to Ohio in 2019, the building looked worse than ever,” said Buchanan.

Her grandfather, Hiram Bledsoe, owned it, and she recalled riding her bicycle there to visit him.

“While eating a slice of pie (or two), I would watch as he would go from table to table visiting every seat that was filled,” she said in the GoFundMe posting. “Since it closed I have dreamt of reopening the doors and introducing this new vision. That time is near, and we are asking for your help to get there.”

Eventually, the two met with brothers Paul and Randy Wyatt, who owned the building and Cabinet Gallery next door.

“We described our dream and vision to them and the rest is history. I can never express my gratitude enough to those two for taking a chance on us,” said Buchanan.

The vision for the general store is based on community, and they hope to have local bakers help and have a good selection of locally produced goods.

“The amount of support we’ve received from the community is incredible. We are so blessed,” they said. “We want to thank everyone who has donated and given us warm wishes. We could not do this without the loving support of our families, friends, and the community.”

They want the general store to add to what makes the area a great place to live.

For more information about the store, visit To help with the GoFundMe, visit

The Lumberton General Store logo. Lumberton General Store logo. Courtesy photo photo

By John Hamilton

[email protected]

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574