Shutler’s Market in Martins Ferry is closing after 66 years.
The market has a loyal customer base.
The owners and employees know everyone’s name, as well as their kids and grandkids.
One man said five generations of his family have shopped there.
It’s an emotional time.
“Very sad,” said Betty Stoffer of Martins Ferry, looking up at the sign. “Very, very sad.”
The reality of the “retirement sale” sign is starting to sink in.
“I remember stocking shelves in the old store up on North Zane Highway, ” said owner Ed Shutler. “I remember moving here and selling Christmas trees out on the lot, working with my dad all those years.”
Ed and Vickie Shutler are the second generation to run the store.
They say now they’ll have time for a vacation.
“It’s hard to get to all the grandchildren’s functions,” noted Vickie Shutler. “But we’ll get there now.”
The bond is strong between the Shutlers, their employees and their customers.
“And the owners, oh my gosh, I hate to see them leave because then you don’t get that personal contact and love from them,” said longtime customer Shirley Krajnyak. “They give you hugs and everything.”
Everyone praises Ed’s unsurpassed skills as a butcher.
“You always get good meat here,” said Bob Krajnyak. “You always get what you want, the way you want it cut. It’s just like an old fashioned grocery store.”
“If it weren’t for this community and my customers supporting us, we couldn’t have been around for 66 years,” said Vickie Shutler.
They stock all the basics, plus many extras like homemade foods in the deli, as well as purses, scarves and wine.
But it’s the personal attention that kept them coming back.
“They think of us as family, really,” noted Carol Mallis, who has worked there 27 years.
“And I’m going to miss them a lot!” said customer Judy Bennington, with tears in her eyes.
Shutler’s last day in business will be Dec. 31.