Yoder's Country Kettle - Gap Mills, WV
Yoder's Country Market began in 1984 when Owen and Erma Yoder put shelves in their tiny 7' x 11' utility room, hung up a sign saying "Yoder's Bulk Foods" and began selling cheese, baking supplies, spices, nuts, and fruits.
Their children: Dorcas (17), Steven (15), Joel (12), and Michael (8) all helped with the business.
Michael remembers trying to cut a block of cheese for a customer but was too little to cut all the way through the block so the customer had to come around the counter to help him. The whole family gives Joel a hard time about when he was supposed to be watching the store but instead was out in the back yard chasing squirrels!
After nine months in the little utility room, the family closed in their carport and moved the business into their new addition, nearly tripling the show room. In 1988 a property was purchased along Rt 230 in Pratts and the Yoder's built a 30' x 80' building with their home on one end and the store in the other, and changed the name to Yoder's Country Market. Owen's mother, Amanda, moved with them and helped in the store weighing sandwich meats and packaging spices until she was 95 years old! In addition to bulk foods, herbs, and cheeses, they began selling books and gifts. Two more additions increased the showroom and added a kitchen and warehouse. In 2005, Owen and Erma moved out of their end of the building and the store expanded again.
Michael and his wife Heather took over the family business in 2007. In a few years the business once again needed to be expanded. In 2014 they bought 10 acres on Rt. 29, about 1 mile from the old location, and moved in the spring of 2015. The whole family is involved in the business, carrying on the good old-fashioned values that have always been a part of Yoder's Country Market.