David Struminger, his wife Stacey and his brother Alex have bought the Page’s Store building in Batesville and opened Batesville Market to serve the village in a traditional country store style, reviving a sorely missed gathering place for area residents.
Struminger, who owns a house in Batesville he retreats to on weekends from his family’s business in Richmond, said, “We always hoped that someone would take the ball and run with it [after Plank Road Exchange closed 16 months ago], but no one would.”
So they picked up the challenge themselves. “When was closed, we missed it,” he said.
“We want it to be all about the community,” explained Struminger. “This is about taking the store back to its original roots. Respecting the building is important to us. We don’t need it as our sole source of income.” They launched on Batesville Day last month to help the people who were making apple butter.
“Just seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they come in and hearing people connect as neighbors is what it’s all about,” said Struminger. “And being able to get milk and eggs here can save people 45 minutes of driving.”
The Market will host musical performances every other Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. (musicians have been booked through January) and he hopes Batesvillians will use the store for things like book club meetings. A photography exhibit is displayed on one wall above a wide ledge with bar seating.
Since they now own the building, which dates to 1880, they have addressed drainage problems on the west side and installed a new generator so that the store can’t be forced to close. They put a very long table they call a “community table” in the center of the main room.
They have printed T-shirts that simply say “local” on the front and they’ve made an oval car sticker that reads “BVL.” “We try to buy all the local we can,” said Struminger.
The deli offers a half-dozen a sandwiches, mac and cheese, soups, as well as prepared items like chicken and tuna salads. Struminger said they expect to begin smoking their own meats. Convenience store items are also available.
Roberta Keil will manage the store during most of its open hours. Those are: Wednesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.