Helen's Liquor Store opens near Forest Lakes

Monday, June 12, 2017 11:30 AM
Don Hutchins, left, opened Helen's Country Liquor Store in May. His daughter, Amanda Fouts, right, is the manager.
Helen's Country Store Manager Amanda Fouts works at the store on Helen's corner in late May.
Don and Nicole Hutchins built a new liquor store on Helen's Corner to serve Lemon Reservoir, Vallecito, Forest Lakes and other subdivisions nearby.

After years of planning, Helen's Country Liquor Store opened in May at 13906 Florida Road (County Road 240).

Don Hutchins and his wife, Nicole, built the new 980-square-foot log cabin-style store to serve Vallecito, Forest Lakes and nearby subdivisions.

"It's what people need up here," he said.

The name is a nod to a store that opened at the intersection in 1938, and the rustic design is meant to reflect the area, he said.

The shop carries a variety of wine, beer and liquor at prices competitive with those in town, said manager Amanda Fouts, the Hutchins' daughter. Eventually, the store may add some food to the inventory.

To accommodate large RVs and boats, Hutchins put in a large circular driveway in front the store, which he expects will be popular.

Before opening the store, Hutchins ran another family business, an air tool manufacturing company in Pasadena, California, with his brother.

But he's been vacationing in the area with his family for about 40 years and had his eye on property near the intersection of County Road 243 and County Road 240 for many years before buying the property in 2007.

"He's always wanted something that he could put into the family, have the kids run and be successful," Fouts said.

Including Fouts, Hutchins has eight children, two boys and six girls.

Fouts is the only one working at the store, but they are all welcome there, Hutchins said.

In the second phase of the project, Hutchins plans to build a restaurant and bar on the same property.