McKenna’s Farm Market officially opens with ribbon cutting

| July 20, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE – McKenna’s Farm Market had its official grand opening on Thursday, July 19 at 9:30 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and specials throughout the day to celebrate the occasion. The store, located at 55716 US 36, West Lafayette, had a soft opening about a month ago and has seen an overwhelming response.

“It’s just going to be a festive day all day long because a lot of people couldn’t be here right at 9:30 a.m. so we wanted to keep the festivities going all day,” said Jan Myers, director of marketing and operations.

Just last spring, the decision was made to move the deli section from Unusual Junction to a building just down the road from Unusual Junction that the McKennas have owned and rented out to other businesses for the past 10 years.

“This location is unbelievable and it has easy access to US 36,” said Jerry McKenna. “At the [Unusual] Junction, people sometimes have a hard time pulling around with all the traffic. Here, there’s a full view of the highway in both directions.”

Although they just had their grand opening, the McKennas are already hoping to expand with a 3,200 square foot expansion and add new products to their business. They hope to break ground on their expansion next month.

The store offers fresh, locally-grown produce, baked goods, jams and salsas, and many other food items perfect for everyday food needs or special occasions.

“People want to entertain today,” said McKenna. “They can make a quick run up to the deli, pick up some snacks, get a couple bottles of wine, and have people over on Saturday nights.”

The McKennas have been in the deli business since 1978. In 1971, Jerry McKenna purchased 110 acres and sold antiques out of two old barns on the property.

“After doing that for a few years, I started getting bored,” said McKenna. “It was the same thing over and over again. I told my wife, there’s no future here. I want to do something different.”

After purchasing and dismantling an old railroad depot and with the addition of two train cabooses in Chillicothe, Unusual Junction was born. The unique train cars and depot drew people in and thus began the McKennas venture in the deli business.

“I sold Pearl Valley Cheese and all different types of cheeses,” said McKenna. “Being a plumber, I had to learn the cheese business in a hurry. But it was amazing because people would come in to buy cheese and they’d ask if I had trail bologna. I had no idea what trail bologna was.”

The business grew into three delis in the state of Ohio and two more to open soon, one in Marietta and one in Newark.

“When we moved the deli from the Unusual Junction here, we really had to think it through because we had to keep the Unusual Junction up and running while tearing it apart,” said Teri Misener. “We were right in the middle of prom season, so a lot of days, we were very busy. We had just redone Medberry Marketplace around the same time, so that gave us a nice idea for what to do for the layout.”

Misener said they chose their favorite products from their other delis to feature in this location as well as new products.

“We want to keep an open mind and bring in new products,” she said. “It’s a nice, fresh start to bring in all sorts of stuff and see how it goes. It’s been incredible.”

Misener said it was nice to be able to have an empty building to begin with.

“What I like about this location is the building looks like it should always have been a farmers market,” said Misener.

Not only does the store have locally-grown produce and other food items, but they offer salads, subs, and ice cream as well.

Max McKenna is the third generation of McKennas working at the deli. He makes the ice cream and custards for the store and runs their coffee shop in Cambridge.

“I definitely grew up with a hard work ethic,” said Max. “I was around a lot of people who would not take much time off. They’re working seven days a week. This is our life.”

The store is open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays.

“We go seven days a week and it’s not coming to work,” said Jerry. “It’s enjoyable. We’re anxious to get the new building up because there are so many other things to bring in.”

He agrees that not only do you need a strong work ethic, but to be successful, you must reward those who support your business.

“To be successful in business, you have to reward your customers,” said Jerry. “How do you do that? You give them the finest produce at the most reasonable price, and make sure it’s fresh. That way, they keep coming back and then they’re no longer customers. They become friends.”

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Category: Business

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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