NORTH FAIRFAX — It’s conveniently placed halfway between Fairfax and St. Albans, and it has a little bit of everything: canned food, snacks and drinks, a deli, frozen foods and fish bait.

Adams Quick Stop is favored by North Fairfax’s locals – their photos are even on the wall in the back end of the store. In the mornings and afternoons it has become a place where people gather to visit, share news, and if they need it, pick up a loaf of bread.

But when a sign went up recently saying the store would be closed on Sundays and open six days a week instead of seven, it called attention to the hard reality of running a small family business.

Sherman Adams, the owner of the store, is 81. His wife, Leona, helps out every day as well – she’s 76. When the couple, both of whom grew up in Enosburgh, moved to Fairfax to be closer to family, they were semi-retired and decided to open their store in 1988.

Sixteen years later, the Adams couple is keeping the store going, but they admit it’s tiring.

“I work seven days a week,” Sherman said this morning. “I’m here six in the morning until seven at night.”

He added, “I’d sure like to have some time off.”

Business has been fine – about level with the economy, said Sherman.

“Nobody’s a house on fire right now,” he said.

Though Sherman knows he would like some time off, he and his wife aren’t sure what the future of Adams Quick Stop will be.

“I have no idea,” he said, “except for no more Sundays.”

When asked about the possibility of selling the business to someone else, Sherman said that wasn’t a likely option at the moment.

“The bank’s not loaning any money, so who’s going to buy?” he asked. “The economy’s down, it’s a bad time to sell.”

For now, Sherman said they’d keep things going as he and his wife see fit. “You know, we just play it by ear day to day.”

As for those people who visit the store on a regular basis, it’s uncertain how long their gathering spot will still be there. It’s perfectly clear, though, that Adams Quick Stop, in addition to being a convenient place to stop for some food or fish bait, has played a strong role in North Fairfax’s community.

Sherman, for instance, knew by name each person that stopped in this morning during his interview with the Messenger, and he referred to all the photos accompanying his family’s pictures on the walls as “the neighborhood.”

Henry Raymond, longtime Fairfax resident and the person behind the popular community forum, said by phone this morning that though his visits are less frequent to Adams Quick Stop than the local places in the center of Fairfax, he has been told by many people the store is an important place to those living on the north end of town, especially since no other stores are in the ten mile stretch between Fairfax center and St. Albans.

“It’s going to make a difference [if it’s gone],” he said.

Local resident Scott Greenia, 44, lives right up the road from Adams Quick Stop. “Whether it’s grabbing dinner supplies to feed the family on the way home from work or grabbing some dillies to go fishing with on the way to the lake in the morning,” he wrote in an email yesterday, “it’s always comforting to know that Adam’s is just up the road.”

Greenia added, “[It’s] there for us.”