It’s A Great Reason To Travel The Back Road To & From Fairmont!
By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
If you live in the local area and prefer traveling the “back roads” (i.e. Manley Chapel Road) instead of I-79 to get to and/or from Fairmont, you have perhaps noticed in recent months some construction along that route. More recently, you have seen its completion. On July 27th, that newly constructed building – Creekside Country Market – opened its doors for business … and it is one busy spot!
Creekside Country Market, located at 672 Koon’s Run Road, is owned by Sheldon Martin who runs the store along with help from his family and a few friends. The Martin family includes Sheldon and his wife Margaret and their seven children. Former Pennsylvania residents, the Mennonite family moved to West Virginia three years ago and started a church outreach (Shinnston Fellowship Church) where Sheldon pastors. Having lived in Amish country previously, they were accustomed to bulk food stores where deli meats and cheeses were available, and he saw a need for one here locally.
“It was something I had always dreamed of doing at some point in my life, and thanks to help from family and church friends, it has happened,” he said. “I have two cousins who own similar stores, and they have been very helpful to me because I have had to learn everything about running a business!”
It was also advantageous that Mr. Martin had construction experience and was able to build the site himself – once again, along with the dedicated help of family and friends. When you visit the market, you will notice the new concrete bridge that spans the creek in front of the market, which Martin also constructed! It offers solid, safe and an attractive entrance to the store. Martin and his friends also poured all the concrete for the large parking lot that amply accommodates lots of customer parking – including storefront handicap accessibility.
Creekside Country Market’s attractive exterior causes passersby to take notice, and if curiosity draws you inside, you’ll find a store that is spic ‘n span clean, a friendly staff eager to help you, and shelves full of interesting items.
Mr. Martin promptly noted that the market’s deli cases are filled with meats purchased from the John F. Martin Co., a family-owned business based in Lancaster, PA, as well as an extensive selection of rich Ohio cheeses. One gentleman in particular said he has become a frequent shopper at Creekside’s deli because “nothing can compare” to their fresh slab bacon! If there is something in the deli case you would like to sample before purchasing, just ask!
In addition to everyday store items, they carry a huge selection of specialty dip mixes, soup mixes, a variety of nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cereals, spices, tempting snacks like yogurt coated pretzels, many jams, jellies, and preserves, and an aisle full of candy and dried fruits! Cooler items feature Amish butter, macaroni and potato salads, coleslaw, ham and chicken salads, along with pickled beets and eggs. Be sure to look for their salad dressings, freshly ground coffees and freshly ground peanut butter, as well as a full line of baking essentials.
If you have a sweet tooth but don’t enjoy spending time in the kitchen to prepare it yourself, look around because you’ll find some delightful treats like cinnamon bread and iced cinnamon buns …. And in the freezer section there are apple dumplings from Walnut Creek, OH. All the prep work is done; all you have to do is pop them in the oven!
Allow yourself time to look around. Although bulk food is their main specialty, you will also see a display of crackling wick candles inside the store ….. and after shopping, relax for a few moments sitting in some of the Ohio-made outdoor furniture that is also for sale. It is a fun and interesting shopping excursion!
Sheldon Martin is already looking ahead and thinking of what additions he might consider in the future – like ice cream … perhaps having deli subs … and maybe even carrying pumpkins and mums next fall!
The Martin family is quite pleased with the response the store has received. “There is a lot of traffic on this road and many people watched the building go up. They have since told me how much they were looking forward to our opening and people have been very supportive. It seems to have spread by word of mouth, and some of our customers have said they have seen it shared on Facebook. We’ve had lots of return visitors so they must be pleased with what they have found here,” he added.
A part of the store that shoppers don’t see is utilized as warehouse space. There, when bulk deliveries arrive, the family weighs the goods and packages them individually.
“Bulk food stores, because products are purchased in bulk, can pass along the savings to their customers,” he concluded. “That is our goal – to provide good quality items at affordable prices. We hope it will be convenient for lots of people and that we’ll be a blessing to the area. And while we are doing that, we have the opportunity to meet and make many new friends so we receive a blessing as well.”
Creekside Country Market is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM; on Thursday from 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM; and on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM; they are always closed on Sunday. Creekside accepts cash, checks, debit and credit cards. If you have further questions, call 304-534-3200.