Anybody who reads my Facebook posts may recall the one I made recently while on the road for a photo shoot. While passing through West Unity on my back to the office, I saw activity in the building that once housed my office. I stopped to take a look, and was more than pleasantly surprised with what I saw. The building is now the home of the Jackson Street Shop and Homestead Bulk Foods.
In this day and age of a supposedly recovering economy, the call to ‘shop locally’ carries more weight than ever. When the West Unity grocery store and Schmitt’s Variety closed their respective doors, it left a huge hole in the village’s ‘shop local’ theme. That hole has been admirably filled with the addition of these new businesses.
The Homestead Bulk Foods full-service deli now sits where the bosses office once sat, and where my desk once sat is a line of reach-in refrigerators stocked with fresh milk, soft drinks, eggs and butter. At the end of that line stands a reach-in freezer, loaded with ground beef and a wide selection of steaks and roasts. There is a huge variety of bulk foods from rice and quinoa, to spices, dried fruits, several varieties of pastas and candies…and that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the inventory. In my original Facebook post, I said, “…you tell me one place in the area where you can walk in and pick up a fresh baked shoo fly pie! Think about it…I’ll wait.” Well, I waited. Nobody came forward with an alternative, and for good reason…there is no alternative. Unless you want to fire up the oven and do it yourself, then Homestead Bulk Foods is the ONLY place to go in the area for goodies like that!
The Jackson Street Shop is the home of repurposed arts and crafts, as well as antiques and collectables. If you can imagine a shop that is half craft shop, half antique mini-mall, you would have a good starting place as to what is offered inside.
Personally, I am intrigued by the two dining room sets they have available. One is a traditional set of elegant wood with four dignified chairs, but the other is a post-war polished tubular steel and vinyl set that at one time was the meeting place for a ‘nuclear family’ meal in the 1950s. Oh, the myriads of memories that set brings to mind!
The Village of West Unity has been blessed with not one, but TWO great businesses that give new meaning to ‘shop locally’. For those who are ‘out of town’, you need to make the trip to West Unity to pay these businesses a visit. Owners Rick St. John and Nolan Riegsecker will be glad to show you around.
Trust me, once there, you’ll be back…and you won’t be alone!
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