A fond farewell to Doubet's

I have a soft spot in my heart for small, family-owned businesses.

We used to call them mom-and-pop stores.

I know, my mother and father ran two of them.

They were classic soda fountain/luncheonettes.

It was there, for the most part at the store in Oxford, Pa., where I learned what I call the "Magic of the Cherry Coke." Heron's in Oxford was located right down the street from the high school. It was where every kid headed most days after schools.

And it was where I headed most days to man that soda fountain. You'd be amazed at the different concoctions you can whip up with a few squirts of syrup and some soda water.

My mother ran the Oxford store, while dad took care of things at his original location in North East, Md.

It was a different time, and in a lot of ways a different world.

I think Joe and Joyce Doubet would understand.

For the last quarter century, they have been one of the icons of State Street in Media.

I wonder how many engagement rings, wedding rings and other precious memories started inside Joseph D. Doubet.

Not for much longer.

The Doubets are closing their store. The building has been sold, and they have decided to call it a career.

When we lose businesses like Doubet, we lose a part of what makes us a community.

It's something you can't get at Walmart, or even at a mall or your favorite chain store.

It's people who know your name when you walk in the door.

They are your neighbors.

And friends.

After all, that is their name on the sign outside.

Running a family-owned business these days is no picnic.

But we would be remiss if we did not stop to salute them - and wonder about what we are losing.

As I said on the front page of Thursday's print edition, we've lost another jewel.

Farewell, Doubet's, State Street won't be the same.