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A transformation has been taking place at 820 E. Lincolnway in Minerva. Old flooring has made way for new tiles. Wall paneling and a suspended ceiling came down, while new metal roofing went up. Doors and windows changed places. Glass cases have moved in along with plenty of aisles.
The result of all these changes will greet visitors this Friday when Yoder's Country Market and Deli opens its doors for business.
Owned by David and Tricia Yoder, who have invested $500,00 in the remodeling project, the market represents both a relocation and an expansion of Overholt's Market down the road, which the Yoders bought a year ago.
But fans of the homemade bread and cookies, custom-made deli sandwiches, all-natural foods and locally made gifts at Overholt's need not worry: the Yoders plan to offer all of the old favorites and many new ones thanks to having 7,000 square feet of store space, more than double the space at Overholt's.
Customers will recognize many of the items that they have seen on Overholt's shelves in the past, including bulk foods, organic flours and other baking ingredients, and no-sugar-added jams, jellies and candies. Yoder's Market will also carry a full line of jarred goods, which Tricia said are like Amish wedding jars and feature pickles, pickled beets, hot sauces, salsas, barbecue sauce and other condiments.
Special lines of products will feature gluten-free foods and foods made without preservatives or artificial colors. Yoder's Market will also emphasize locally produced food, such as honey and maple syrup that the Yoders say is from five miles up the road; products made by Walnut Creek Foods in Millersburg, Ohio; and baked products from Nickles Bakery in Navarre, Ohio.
Customers with a sweet tooth can swing around to the bakery for cakes, cookies and brownies made with ingredients that just about anyone can pronounce.
"We use real ingredients, eggs and milk and butter, and none of the hydrogenated oil stuff. Just real, healthy ingredients. It's not filled with all kinds of preservatives," said Tricia.
Just as in the Yoders' original location, the star of the market will likely be its deli, where store staff will layer an assortment of Troyer's meats and cheeses on made-to-order sandwiches. Thanks to a deli case that is double the size of the original store's, customers will be able to choose from an even bigger assortment of sandwich fixings. And all of the fixings will be piled onto breads and rolls made by the Yoders' own staff.
"It's exactly the same as Overholt's. We actually use the same menu," said Tricia, adding, "We hear they're the best sandwiches around. We try to make them the best."
Along with their sandwiches, customers will be able to enjoy a soup of the day from October through April. Deli trays will also be available.
Customers need not be in a rush to get their soup and sandwich to go. David said a dining area near the deli will seat up to 20 customers, but there is space to grow.
"If we get crowded, we'll just put in more tables," he remarked.
In addition to foods, Yoder's Market will stock household goods, including kitchen items like baking sheets and utensils; locally made soaps and dishcloths; McCall's Scented Candles; and soy candles made right here in Minerva by Two Sisters' Two Scents Candle Company. The market will also carry a small selection of Purina pet foods.
Gift items available at the store will include dcor for the home, baby items, heritage lace doilies and table-toppers, and wooden Berlin Flyer wagons.
Not all of the offerings will be inside the market. The large porch outside the store will feature seasonal products like hanging flower baskets and locally grown organic produce in the summer. Tricia noted that Yoder's will offer a customer favorite: Big Smile Peaches from South Carolina.
David added that the store will offer patio furniture such as tables, chairs, and swings with the option for customers to special order other outdoor items including bird feeders and decorative wishing wells.
Although Yoder's Market will be much bigger than its original location, David and Tricia said the easy-going, family atmosphere of their first store will still be very much a part of the business. Customers might see the Yoders' 13-year-old daughter, Karissa, helping at the deli while 14-year-old Shelby might be stocking shelves. They might even get a peek at 9-year-old Patrick and 4-year-old Rilla, who are already learning a little about the family business.
"It's a family affair here," Tricia remarked.
"We want customers to come here for a relaxed, enjoyable, country-store style atmosphere," David added.
Above all, the Yoders said, customers at the business's new location will keep getting the attentive service they have come to expect.
"We want our customers to feel like family and to feel special. We try to treat them like we like to be treated," said Tricia.
Yoder's Country Market and Deli will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Customers should note that the deli will close 15 minutes before the store closes.
Yoder's is on Facebook, but customers who would like to order large or custom orders of baked goods or deli sandwiches for an event are encouraged to call the store in advance.
The Yoders recommend calling them at 330-868-6644 at least one week in advance for particularly large orders.