Welcome to the General Mercantile, home of the finest “gold” to be found on Last Chance Gulch! Since 1971 the Merc has been providing a unique counter culture to Helena.

Our Crew

General Mercantile / Our Crew


Founder and Captain

In a Beartooth NBC interview from 2012 Ray said: It’s fun to be on the Gulch in one spot for a long time. Doing what you’ve dreamed of doing. I’ve always wanted to be a merchant, I wanted to be a tea merchant and that is what I’ve been.


Owner & First Mate

When I think of what the Mercantile means to me, three images come to mind — a barn wood empire, an old wooden boat and the lost boys of Neverland. I realize these ideas, by themselves, might seem random, but these aspects of the Mercantile really fulfill me. Every day I get to walk into the galley of my old wooden boat and protect my barn wood empire for the benefit of the Lost Boys who gather each morning at the coffee counter. I literally couldn’t be happier while sipping on a cup of coffee and chatting it up with the superb humans that cross my path daily.


Weekend Manager, Eagle Ears

I love coming into the Merc early in the morning before the open sign is clicked on to get the store ready for the day. When the snow is falling outside or I get to sweep the front stoop of fallen leaves there’s a sense of coziness I can’t get enough of. All of the regulars make working here feel like less of a job and more of a family. Plus everyone knows I tell really funny jokes and I love putting smiles on the face of others A-Latte.



As a Carroll College student, I am constantly seeking a homework hideaway, money to support me through school, and a home environment. Who knew I would be lucky enough to find them all in the same place? I love working at the Merc because I get to escape school and spend time with the best co-workers and a whole family of customers, too.


Owner & Barrelman

I love the Mercantile because it is a job, a hangout and a lifestyle rolled into one. The Merc is the perfect spot to stay warm with a strong cup of black coffee or to hide from the heat with an iced tea in hand. It is a business that allows for deep eccentricity and light vagabondery — my kind of place.<br /> Yo Ho! It’s a merchant’s life for me.



My favorite drink is the Sow mee white tea — as Ray would say it’s “phenomenally phenomenal.`` I enjoy working at the Merc because my child can fall into the fish pond and Lindsey won’t get mad.



My favorite drink is a creamy mugicano with honey and cinnamon because it's the perfect mix of sweetness, coffee, and cream. I love working at the Merc because of the community that surrounds it. I've met so many people there that I know I'll have lasting relationships with throughout my entire life. Also the best coffee in town is a major plus.



My favorite drink is the mugicano. I love the bold flavor of espresso and want a strong cup of coffee to start my day. I grew up as a 400 Block kid in my mom's cafe and when I wasn't harassing customers there, I was here at the Merc, eating whipped cream and playing shop in the Treehouse. The Merc has always been a home to me with so many important life moments experienced here. That has continued into my adult years, along with a passion for making coffee. The Merc is an amazing family that challenges and feeds me daily.



I love The General Mercantile because there is no other place like it! It is the best family I could have ever asked for and they always put a smile on my face. It is my perfect hideaway spot and makes being away at college feel like home. My favorite thing is how much you can learn from all the different types of people that wander in. My favorite drink is a Tall House Special with honey!


Nephew and Heir Apparent

The Merc is a nice place to work because it has a homey feeling and a vintage look. I like starting my day with a cinnamon raisin bagel and a nice cup of English breakfast tea with a lot of sugar and cream. I like pricing and acting like I own the place even though I’m only ten. I also get all the broken merchandise. Someday I hope to own the Merc because it’s the best coffee shop.<br />