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Steiner family to sell local food at convenience store in Burrville

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BURRVILLE — Making apple cider isn’t the Steiner family’s only knack.

The family, which owns Burrville Cider Mill, took over the operation of a nearby convenience store with gas pumps in early August at 25511 Route 12, where locally grown food will be sold.

Forrest G. and Kaitlyn A. Steiner, who were aided by the family, entered into an agreement in early August to take over Fast Eddy’s Kwikmart from owner Edward C. Amos. The young couple is expected within the next six months to close on the purchase of the business, to be named Steiner’s General Store, Mr. Steiner said.

Locally grown meats, fruits and vegetables will be sold at the store, along with bulk food such as flour, sugar, oatmeal, spices, candy and nuts, the 21-year-old said. He said the store now offers breakfast sandwiches, subs and pizza, and bakery items will be added to the menu after its kitchen is renovated. The business, which offers ice cream from Mercer’s of Boonville, also plans to open a walk-up outdoor window next spring to sell scooped ice cream.

Mr. Steiner said the store is expected to complement the family’s cider mill, which is less than a half mile away on County Route 156. His grandparents, Gregory W. Sr. and Cynthia L. Steiner, bought the mill in 1996.

“I think it’s going to be a perfect match between the two,” he said. “We’re doing everything we’ve always wanted to do at the cider mill by selling bulk food and produce, and we’ll be getting into baked goods. There are other places that sell bulk food, but they don’t have gas, beer and other items. We’re going to be more of a general store.”

The store will offer beef from local livestock farmers, along with pork and chicken from animals raised at the Steiner family’s farm off County Route 156, Mr. Steiner said. A wide range of vegetables grown at the farm also will be featured, such as lettuce, beans and carrots.

The business now has three part-time employees and could hire three to five more next year, depending on demand, Mr. Steiner said. He said he believes the store will capture traffic from local residents, along with visitors to the cider mill.

“We’re going to have locals getting gas, bread and beer, and we’re going to have people traveling to the area to buy local foods and meat,” Mr. Steiner said. “We’ll also have construction workers getting their lunches here.”

His mother, Tina L. Steiner, who co-owns the cider mill, said the convenience store will provide a much-needed venue for local farmers to sell their products.

“I’ve been involved with a lot of local farmers who ask how they can get their local products sold,” Mrs. Steiner said. “People will be able to find local products at the store year-round.”

The cider mill, meanwhile, opened in late August and is expected to have a strong season thanks to the plentiful apple harvest, she said. Last year, the mill had a better than average season after a challenging year in 2012, in which it raised prices because of the poor apple harvest. But the mill dropped cider prices last year, and they have remained the same this season. Half-gallons are priced at $3.89, while gallons are $5.69.

The mill pressed about 50,000 gallons of cider last year, Mrs. Steiner said, and she hopes it will post a similar mark this season.

“The apple crop is good, and there will be enough fruit to get us through Thanksgiving,” she said.

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