BELLVILLE — Pat Hayes is a individuals particular person. He loves making others really feel welcome. At any time when a buyer walked into Stoodt’s Market, Hayes was all the time keen to share fun, cheer somebody up once they’re down or just ask about their day.
That’s what Hayes loved most about his job — and why he was so brokenhearted when Stoodt’s Market closed earlier this 12 months.
“I miss the individuals,” Hayes mentioned. “I really like individuals. You get to satisfy totally different individuals, a number of good individuals and folks you wouldn’t assume you’d even affiliate with find yourself being good buddies.”
When Bellville’s lone grocery retailer closed its doors last January, many residents feared it was the top of an period.
Georjean Stoodt, whose grandfather based the shop in 1926, didn’t need to see the legacy die.
“I grew up right here. For all of my life, there’s been a reasonably full-service grocery retailer locally,” Stoodt mentioned. “When it closed in January, the household query was, ‘What are we going to do with this property, this constructing?’”
Stoodt reached out to Hayes and Bernard “Bernie” Hollar, who had labored on the retailer for a complete of 55 years and served as proprietor and operator from 1989 to 2016.
After months of analysis and deliberation, the trio determined to dive in and revive Stoodt’s Market. The shop, barely rebranded as Stoodt’s Contemporary Market, is ready to open by early August.
“It’s actual thrilling. I didn’t assume we had been going to have the ability to discover somebody to reopen it,” Hollar mentioned. “We are able to’t go nowhere with out any individual asking once we’re going to open the shop.”
“There’s a number of pleasure and hope locally that this can transfer ahead and succeed and that has been very gratifying to me,” Stoodt added.
After 41 years as an worker of Stoodt’s Market, Hayes shall be taking the helm as common supervisor.
“I inform individuals it’s nervously thrilling,” Hayes mentioned. “My objective is to make it profitable. I need to flip it again into the way in which Bernie used to have the shop ran. Friendliness, kindness, contributing to the Clear Fork Valley, make them happy with us and hopefully they are going to be.”
Hayes began working at Stoodt’s as a teen, carrying groceries to clients’ automobiles. Since then, he’s executed somewhat little bit of every little thing, from working within the produce division to managing the dairy and grocery departments.
Hollar credited Stoodt with placing a number of time, cash and energy into the reopening. The constructing now has 15 new freezers and extra produce circumstances.
In keeping with Stoodt, the area reserved for contemporary produce has doubled and the area for frozen meals has practically doubled. The shop will characteristic a bakery and full service meat division. Ultimately, the group hopes so as to add present playing cards, on-line ordering choices and supply.
Many longtime workers shall be returning, together with the shop’s former meat cutter and head baker.
Most significantly, Stoodt’s signature selfmade donuts may even be making a comeback.
“In the event you line the donuts up aspect to aspect, we have bought donuts right here to California,” Hayes joked.
The one merchandise that gained’t be returning instantly is grownup drinks. Stoodt mentioned she is leaning towards promoting alcohol, however that it’s going to take a while to get the shop a allow.
Whereas Stoodt, Hayes and Hollar make up the driving power behind the shop’s reopening, they’ve additionally had some assist from group volunteers, together with an area Woman Scout troop.
When the time got here to tidy up the within of the constructing and clear the freezers and fridges out, serving to arms emerged.
“It type of began with those who I’d run into, that I knew rising up, saying “If there’s something I can do let me know,” Stoodt mentioned. “It was very encouraging to me that individuals cared that a lot.”