The Cairo Supply Co., a general store and bike supply shop owned and operated by local couple Ron and D.J. Allen, serves as the community's anchor.
The store is an important stopping spot for travelers on the North Bend Trail, the 72-mile multi-use recreational trail running from Parkersburg to Wolf Summit.
It's also the town's lone grocery store.
The bikers, hikers and equestrians who frequent the trail know the Cairo Supply Co. as a place where they can rest, refuel and restock before continuing on their way.
The citizens of Cairo know it as place where they can stop in for everything from a gallon of milk to cleaning supplies.
D.J., who spends most of her days behind the store's cluttered counter, said she and her husband bought the business from its previous owners in 1996.
The business began solely as a bike repair and supply store but later changed to include aspects of a general store to serve the needs of the town.
"The bike shop opened in anticipation of what was coming with the trail," she said. "It was a man and his sons who opened the store and we bought it from them."
Ron said the change came when the town's former grocery store closed its doors after a Wal-Mart came into the area.
"When the store started having trouble, some of the local people started asking us to get a few grocery items in," he said. "And we kind of went from totally all bicycles to bicycles and groceries."
Ron still keeps a shop in the back of the store where he fixes bikes for trail users, and the store stocks a host of bike-related supplies.
Although bicycles are no longer the only focus, Ron said the store carries necessities like helmets and inner tubes and has bikes available to rent by the hour.
The Allens said their small business depends partly on the influx of outdoor enthusiasts who pass through the town while using the trail and partly on the locals who come in to buy staple foodstuffs and other essential items.
"It's tough running a small business in a small community, but the community really needs them," D.J. said. "The more businesses there are in town, the better off we all are."
While manning the store's checkout, D.J. greets and
exchanges a few words with each customer. She treats the tourists like new friends and the locals like family.
If she knows the person, she'll ask about their mother, recount an old story or take time to chat about the goings-on in town.
If you're a newcomer, D.J. is the town's unofficial one-woman welcoming committee. She's quick to point guests toward the store's rack of informational pamphlets or to tell a tale about some of the reportedly haunted spots along the trail.
In contrast, Ron is a soft-spoken man who smiles and nods along with his wife's stories.
He serves on the town council, and his exchanges with locals revolve around the pressing matters of small-town politics, like whose turn it is to mow the grass in front of the old bank building this month.
Before becoming shopkeepers, the Allens each had very different careers.
D.J. spent more than 30 years working for the local newspaper, and Ron worked for 27 years as a truck driver for a dairy.
Ron said their decision to open the store was the result of an injury he sustained in the early '90s.
"I fell and hurt my back in '94," he said. "We decided I still needed something to do, just something a little lighter."
The store keeps the Allens active and busy.
"Some days you don't think you're going to get a lot of people and then you just get slammed," D.J. said. "It just fluctuates from one day to the next."
Whether business is booming or crawling, the Allens are happy to be providing an essential service to a community in need.
"We just want people to have fun when they're here," D.J. said. "That's our goal, to make sure people are having a good time and making some memories."