Celebrating Success: Stout Graduates From Stonier

Cassie Stonier Class 2018
Cassie Stonier 2018The VCNB Family has a reason to celebrate!

VCNB Regional Retail Manager Cassie Stout recently graduated from the American Bankers Association (ABA) Stonier Graduate School of Banking, following in the footsteps of countless VCNB leaders who completed this challenging piece of their banking education.

Stonier is an elite program for the nation’s best and brightest bankers. The three year program prepares future industry leaders with curriculum covering a wide variety of industry topics. Taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia, the program also provides a series of leadership sessions.

Stout explained that she has been completing off-site work for the program for the last three years. Then one week a year the class convenes at the Wharton School in Philadelphia for an intense period of classes and networking. “They cram a lot into those weeks we are there. It’s a very intensive week we spend there every year,” she explained. She indicated that students choose from a catalog of banking courses and are encouraged to select those that are most appropriate for their financial institution.

They also take Wharton School leadership classes that are taught by Wharton professors. While they aren’t specific to banking, they teach skills useful in all lines of business. Wharton is widely regarded as one of the world’s top institutions for business education and the Stonier School attracts bankers from all over the country and around the world.

“I have learned a lot about banking and about bank management through this process,” she said before naming some of the topics she learned about and how they apply to her role at VCNB. She also praised the connections she has made through Stonier and the efforts made to pair bankers with others who are from similar institutions but not from competing institutions. “They are very selective in how they pair bankers so in the end you have a nice network of bankers you can call on to bounce an idea off of or to just have someone to talk with.”

The class of approximately 240 graduated on June 14 with a Stonier diploma and a Wharton leadership certificate.

She indicated that she has already put to good use some things that she learned at Stonier on both special projects and on daily tasks. In fact, just last week she used a Wharton exercise during a meeting with the branch managers who she supervises.

Stout began her career with VCNB in 2006. Many customers will remember her as the Branch Manager at our Ross County Banking Center on Main Street in Chillicothe. Today she serves the bank in a different kind of role, overseeing managers of branches in Vinton, Hocking, Jackson and Ross counties.

“I am grateful for the opportunity and appreciate that the bank gave me this opportunity,” she said.

VCNB Head of Retail Brenda Doles expressed pride in Cassie’s accomplishments both at the bank and at Stonier. “I am so very proud of Cassie. When she sets her sights on a goal she can accomplish anything,” Doles said. “She truly manages her time. Through all of this she managed her branches, she managed her personal life, she managed her course work without missing a step and without ever letting anyone down. She’s someone I hope will go far for us.”

Five Ways Not to Blow a Financial Windfall

Whether you’ve won the lottery, inherited a fortune or sold your business, landing a financial windfall can drastically improve your financial outlook. But the sudden wealth can also leave you stressed and unsure how to handle the cash.

First, hit the pause button, says Don Hance Jr., founder of LifeSighted, a financial planning company. Take time to create a spending plan to avoid making poor decisions.

“You want to give yourself time to take stock of everything and work through emotions before spending the money,” says Hance.

Here are five smart ways to allocate a financial windfall.

1. Cushion your nest egg
Maximize your 401(k) contributions if you still plan on working, or at least contribute enough to earn the full employer match, which is essentially free money for your retirement. As you put more money toward retirement, the windfall will fill that gap in your cash flow.

This move also carries tax benefits: contributions are taken out of your paycheck pre-tax, lowering your taxable income for the year. Investments grow tax-deferred until withdrawals at retirement.

Also, look into funding a Roth IRA if you’re eligible, says Mark McCarron, a financial planner and principal at Bond Wealth Management, LLC. Contributions to Roth retirement accounts are made after-tax, and your investments grow tax-free. Unlike a 401(k), there’s no income tax on withdrawals made in retirement.

“It is one of the only free lunches the IRS gives us,” McCarron says.

2. Pay off toxic debt
If you’ve been trying to pay off debt, this is an opportune moment. Pay off toxic debt with the highest interest rates first, such as credit cards, payday loans, title loans and installment loans.

For example, a credit card with a $10,000 balance at 20% interest would cost $11,680 in total interest if you made $200 monthly payments. It would take more than nine years to repay the debt.

Use your windfall to pay the balance in full, and you’ll save interest.

3. Build an emergency fund
An emergency fund is money set aside to cover unplanned expenses, such as car repairs or a job loss, so you don’t have to rely on credit cards or high-interest loans.

A good rule of thumb is to have three to six months of expenses saved, says McCarron.

The amount to save depends on factors such as job security and how much debt you owe. Keep the money in a high-yield savings account, where it earns some interest and is readily accessible.

4. Invest in yourself or a loved one
Investing isn’t limited to your retirement; you can also use some of the windfall toward self-development. Go back to school, hire a career coach, travel or learn a new skill.

Consider starting a 529 savings plan to support a child, relative or friend through college, says Levi Sanchez, financial planner and co-founder of Millennial Wealth, based in Seattle.

The plan provides tax-free investment growth and withdrawals for qualified education expenses, such as tuition, fees and books. Most states also offer a tax break for residents.

Under the current tax law, 529 withdrawals up to $10,000 per year can be used for tuition costs at elementary or secondary public, private and religious schools. Check with your state’s plan before making withdrawals for this purpose; not all states have adopted the changes.

5. Give back
Consider making charitable donations to an organization or social cause you support.

Your gift can positively impact the organization, but unless it’s a sizable donation, it may not help your taxes. That’s because you need to itemize your taxes to get a deduction, and itemizing only makes sense if your deductions add up to more than the standard deduction.

For 2018, the standard deduction is $24,000 for married individuals filing jointly or $12,000 for single individuals. Maintain records of your contributions if you donate.

Giving money to family and close friends doesn’t carry tax benefits. But if you’re feeling generous, you can give up to $15,000 per individual in 2018 without having to file a gift tax return, says Sanchez.
A financial planner or tax professional can provide further guidance on managing a windfall.

Steve Nicastro is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: steven.n@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @StevenNicastro.

The article 5 Ways Not to Blow a Financial Windfall originally appeared on NerdWallet.

AEP Recognizes VCNB Improvements

VCNB was recognized earlier this year by AEP Ohio for their work to improve energy efficiency and environmental impact at several bank branches. This was a result of a lighting project which has made work spaces lighter and brighter and that will save the bank money over time.

New lighting was installed at offices in McArthur, Circleville, Grove City, Chillicothe, Bremen and at one Lancaster location.

As a result of this project, the bank will save 61,868 kWh or 47.4 tons of CO2 annually. This is equivalent to:

– Ten cars off the road per year
– Annual C02 generation of five single family homes
– 1,228 tree seedlings grown for ten years.

According to AEP Ohio, commercial buildings account for nearly one-fifth of the total energy used and one-third of end use electricity. They point out that the benefits of improved building energy efficiency and lowered energy costs are widely recognized and they commended VCNB for working to be part of this movement through their savings incentives programs for businesses.

A Library Straight From a Fairy Tale

Exterior with signReaders often say they enjoy reading books because it’s an opportunity to be transported to another time and place, to meet people and enjoy special places they otherwise couldn’t access in their daily lives. If a book can accomplish this, imagine a library so special that a walk through the doors is also like being transported to a whole new world.

Such a place does exist and it is situated in the quaint village of Lithopolis on the line of Franklin and Fairfield counties.  The Wagnalls Memorial Library is an imposing building that resembles a castle and that serves so many roles that there are almost too many to mention. If the community is looking for a place to hold an event, to learn, to play, to be enriched, to appreciate history or to engage with others, The Wagnalls is the place to be.

Library Director Tami Morehart speaks of the library, the town and its people with such enthusiasm and love that it’s hard to separate the library from the community as she tells their stories. That’s because library employees are involved in community projects while community organizations and residents are involved in the library.

Morehart’s own life story is closely entwined with that of the library. She began coming to the library and to story time as a child. She met her husband and celebrated their wedding reception here and has worked here off and on since she first started shelving books in 1974. She said that serving as Library Director for the last few years has been a dream come true as she’s had opportunity to give life to projects and to help shape the library’s future while keeping an eye on its intriguing past.

The library’s story begins in the early twentieth century with a gift of humungous proportion. Mabel Wagnalls Jones had the library built as a gift to the town to honor her parents, Adam and Anna Willis Wagnalls, who each were born in log cabins in Lithopolis. Her father was the co-founder of publishing giant Funk & Wagnalls and her mother had always dreamed of doing something special for the village and wanted to provide opportunities that were not available to her as a child.

Mabel was an author and concert pianist who lived most of her life in New York City but who had a fondness for her parents’ birthplace and grew up visiting her grandmother who still lived in the town. She believed that this gift to the town would fulfill her mother’s wish.

Interior reading room.JPGThe Tudor-Gothic library was designed by Columbus architect Ray Sims and most of the workmen were from Lithopolis. Most of the stone was quarried from a site just behind the library and the construction was said to be a true labor of love for those involved.

The original library is considered a work of art in itself, featuring a formal entrance hall, a tower, auditorium with stage and banquet hall. The upper walls have a sculpted grapevine with bunches of grapes to signify plenty. Owls keep sentinel over the room, perched on shields depicting religion, industry, education and patriotism – values held dear by the Wagnalls family. The owls hold their own meaning, representing some baby owls found in a tree that had been cut down during the quarrying of the stone.

The center window contains stained glass inserts that tell more of the Wagnalls’ story. The State of Ohio Seal, a printing press, a log cabin, the lamp of learning and the Seal of the United States are all depicted in this window. The room was furnished with handmade tables and chairs.

 

The library is also filled with countless paintings and memorabilia. Mabel’s favorite Steinway grand piano is on display along with the Loving Cup that was giving to her by the village at the library’s 1925 dedication. Two original Norman Rockwell paintings are on permanent display as well as paintings that were used as covers for Funk & Wagnalls’ magazine The Literary Digest.

exterior garden.jpg

Outside, the grounds and gardens feature rock sculptures made from rocks collected from all over North America, a martin house, and winding paths lined with flowers and shrubs.  The gardens are maintained by the Fairfield County Master Gardeners.

Since the library was dedicated in 1925, it has been expanded three more times – in 1961, 1983 and 1992 – each time to help the library better serve the growing needs of the community. Now it boasts an impressive children’s library with a locally designed and constructed train station and corral for the kids to enjoy.

Administrative offices, a computer lab, a reading room and patrons’ services desk were added on over time as well. While additions and improvements have been made over their 93 year history, efforts have been made to remain true to the integrity of the original building and to create spaces that feel as though they have always been there.

The library continues to grow and adapt to the needs of a changing community and society. For example, they recently completed a Creative Play Space where children are encouraged to put down electronic devices and use their imagination to play with the numerous toys provided. Made possible by a South Central Power grant, this room has been popular with kids and adults. Morehart said that some things are constants in this room, like a play kitchen, dollhouse and a Lego area for older kids. However, she said that some toys will be periodically cycled in and out. “This week we have dinosaurs out, next week it could be something different,” she said. “We want kids to be able to play here, to use their imaginations. There are no computers in here or electronic devices. It’s all creative play.”

 

The library also continues to add programming and events to keep the community engaged. Yoga classes, board game night, book clubs for adults and teens, cooking classes for adults and kids and a writing club are regular events. They recently hosted a class on phone photography and are offering a summer course to teach kids basic coding. Other interesting programs include a Harry Potter Reading Club and a weekly event where kids can practice their reading skills by reading to a registered therapy dog.

They host an annual Yule Ball in February, will host Santa during a Christmas Open House on Saturday, December 8 and will host a Great Gatsby themed fundraiser on October 6. Their theater group will put on a production of The Adams Family this fall.

“We want to be a destination place for people, for families, not just for books but for connecting with others, for learning, for community,” she said. “When someone is looking for a place to meet or something to do or some kind of resource they might need, we want them to think of us first,” Morehart explained.

 

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The community does use the library and they also often pitch in to help with projects and fundraising. With a small library staff and just two part time maintenance workers, there is an endless list of projects at the 93 year old facility. There is also a Friends of the Library group that raises money to support the library through used books sales and other events. “We are always looking for volunteer groups to help us out,” she said.

She said there are many ways for the public to support the library. They can start by simply using the library or taking part in programs. Volunteerism is another great way to help and supporting fundraisers is another.  In fact, there are many ways to contribute financially through private or corporate donations or through projects like Legacy Brick sponsorships.

interior stained glassThe library also welcomes visitors who simply wish to tour the facility. They offer a walking tour brochure and groups can call ahead to schedule a guided tour with Mabel, as portrayed by Carol Gaal.

Library hours are:
Monday – Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to
7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Friday and Sunday: Closed

A new website contains a massive amount of information on events, library history, giving opportunities and other topics of interest. Visit www.wagnalls.org  or call 614.837.4765 for information and to find out how your group can volunteer. Click here to follow them on Facebook. 

“I think it’s important that we’re here. We want people to feel that it is safe and warm and welcoming here. Our staff is wonderful and they work so hard to be helpful. It’s the kind of place where we know your name and what you read and that you weren’t feeling well last week or that you got a new pet,” Morehart said. “We also are aware that we have to adapt and that we can’t become set in our ways. That’s why we are constantly thinking of ways to bring people in and to bring them together. It’s a living library because we never want to stop growing and changing and being what the community needs us to be.”

Morehart, who grew up in this library, said she has just one regret. “I remember this being such a special place to come to as a kid and it still is, as an adult but I wish I could see it for the first time as an adult and to know what that’s like to experience that wonder and awe! ” Morehart said.

While you may not be able to have that experience, we can tell you what it’s like. It’s like walking into a storybook. It’s magic.

Small Business Spotlight: The Shamrock

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month!  

The Shamrock has been a fixture in downtown Logan since before Prohibition. New owner Shad Mace takes pride in keeping his Irish pub friendly, safe and welcoming to all.

It isn’t every day that you find yourself in an Irish pub in southern Ohio.  It’s an even rarer occasion to visit a business with one of the state’s oldest liquor licenses. The Shamrock, in downtown Logan, has a brand new owner but historic roots that are nearly a century old.

While owner Shad Mace doesn’t know the complete history of the business, he knows that it existed prior to Prohibition as a café, pub and hotel. Their liquor license was acquired just after the 1933 end of Prohibition.

Today the bar stands at 62 E. Main St., just a few blocks from its original home at Main and Mulberry streets. Mace said the previous owner moved the business to this location in 2003.

With exposed brick walls and numerous elements from the old bar, the place is quaint, welcoming and packed with character. “They brought over the original bar top and bar back, the booths, a vintage cigarette machine and a Tiffany glass sign to keep a lot of the original feel and the history,” Mace explained.

In 2003, the previous owner relocated the pub to its current location from just down the street. They brought with them the old booths, bar and other fixtures that give the pub a timeless, welcoming feel.

He purchased the pub in March and took over the business just in time for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. “We opened going into the busiest weekend of the year. It was a madhouse in here but it went much better than we expected. It was extremely busy,” he said. “If we could make it through that weekend we can make it through any weekend.”

The Logan native chuckled when asked if he had any experience running a bar. “No, that’s one thing I’ve never done,” he said. “But for some reason, wherever I would go – bars, restaurants that served – I always paid attention to what they were doing and kind of thought to myself that I could do better. That sounds arrogant but that’s just how I tend to think.”

Mace left Hocking County in pursuit of education at the University of Cincinnati where he spent some years as the UC Bearcats mascot. His career later took him to Arizona. After several years of missing the changing seasons, he returned to Logan where he began  a new career in sales for Osburn Associates, Inc.

In 2017 he learned there was an opportunity to purchase The Shamrock and he set to work on this new adventure. A clear perfectionist, Mace has plans for growing the business and a vision for what he wants it to be.

games and safe

Owner Shad Mace invites friends and families to gather round a table for a friendly game or two. The antique safe is original to the business which began sometime before Prohibition.

cigarette machine edit

The antique cigarette machine is another piece brought from the original bar. They no longer use it to dispense cigarettes but Mace believes it is in good working condition.

With music acts and food trucks on the weekends, he’s working hard to pack the place when folks are looking for something fun to do. They currently do not have a kitchen but Mace indicated that plans are in the works to have food available this fall. Meanwhile, customers are welcome to bring in their own food to enjoy while hanging out with friends or watching the game on oneof their televisions.

They do have The Golden Tee, an electronic golf game, and a golf league to encourage friendly competition among enthusiasts. A rack of board games like Trivial Pursuit and Sorry provide entertainment for groups large and small, young and old. In fact, they have Game Nights on Monday and Tuesday each week but customers are encouraged to play anytime. “We are very kid friendly here. In fact, kids are welcome to come along. We have games for the family to play and some non-alcoholic beverages that are kid friendly. We try to be a clean cut, casual, respectable place where parents feel comfortable bringing their kids,” he said.

A digital jukebox contrasts nicely against the antique fixtures and gives the place a sense of modernity. Although, not too much – they still have a vintage cigarette machine, an old safe and great vintage advertising art on the walls. A black and white photo hangs above the modern cash register, a tribute to where they come from. It shows the interior of the old bar, staff lined up waiting to help the patrons gathered around the bar.

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“We want to be different than the rest. It sounds like a tired old line but we want to have a friendly atmosphere. We want this place to be warm and inviting and a little different than what you see other places. It’s a small space but it has a lot of character and we’re going to continue building on the good things we have going here,” Mace said.

The Shamrock is located at 62 E. Main St. in Logan and is open 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Call them at 740.216.5110 or follow them on Facebook for their latest events and information.

Not Your Average Card

RCBC Billboard - Not Your Average - (Bridge Street Digital)

You may receive a lot of offers in the mail for average credit cards but we are sure you haven’t received an offer for a card or rewards program like ours. In fact, we like to say that we have debit and credit cards that simply aren’t your average cards.

That’s because our Rewards Checking debit card and Visa® Platinum credit card work in tandem to reward you for your regular banking and purchasing activities. Those uChoose Rewards® points can be used for a host of things including cash back, gift cards, travel and merchandise. If a customer has both cards, those cards can be linked to one uChoose account to help the points accumulate more quickly!

Here’s how it works:
With Rewards Checking, customers can earn one point for every $3 spent as well as 200 bonus points for 21 or more purchases per statement cycle.  We also offer points for using Online Bill Pay, Direct Deposit and for automatic loan payments. Customers are even rewarded with 500 bonus points on the anniversary of the account! With the Visa© Platinum Credit Card, customers can earn one point for every dollar spent!

See what we mean when we say it’s not your average rewards program? That’s because we’re not your average bank.

Now through August 31 we are offering an exceptional summer special so that you can earn even more points just for signing up for Rewards Checking and/or a Visa Platinum Card.* Sign up for a Rewards Checking Account or a Visa Platinum Card between June 15 and August 31, 2018 and receive 5,000 bonus points. Sign up for both the credit card and the checking account during that period and you’ll receive 15,000 points!

Are you ready? Stop by your local office or click here to get started! 

*Credit restrictions apply. Not all applicants will qualify for this promotional offer.

Pointers For Earning With uChoose Rewards

UChoose LogoIf you have Rewards Checking or a Visa® Platinum Card at VCNB, there are a few things we hope you’ll remember about your uChoose Rewards® points.

  1. You have to register your cards to earn points with them. That’s right – you need to register your cards with an account on the uChoose website so you may earn and redeem points. It’s an easy process that takes just minutes.
  2. Once you’re registered, it’s easy to log in to your uChoose account to check your points balance and redeem your points for great merchandise, gift cards, cash book, travel and more!
  3. New cards have to be registered. That means if you were reissued a card that replaces one that was lost, stolen or in some way compromised, you’ll need to take a minute to register the new card. In this instance, when you attempt to log in to your uChoose account, a pop up box will instruct you to register the card with a new account. Never fear, all the points you have accumulated will be available in your new uChoose account!
  4. Points are good for just three years. If you’ve been saving up your points for a big reward like plane tickets or if you simply forget to redeem them, you need to use them before they’re gone. To find out if you have points nearing expiration, simply log in to your uChoose account. There will be an expiration warning next to your points balance.
  5. You can earn even more points if you use your debit card 21 times or more each month. Do this and you’ll earn an extra 200 rewards points!
  6. There are even more point earning opportunities on the uChoose website! Log in to your account and look for online earning opportunities as well as in-store offers that you can activate for your card!

What are you waiting for? Click here to register your card or to log in to your existing account and start redeeming points!  

 

 

Three ways you can protect your cards from fraud

In our industry, we see data breaches involving major retailers almost every day. This is an enormous, far reaching industry that involves criminals stealing personal and card information which has far reaching consequences for retailers and banks as well as for customers who are frustrated and frightened by the threat to their information and money.

That is why VCNB spends a lot of money and resources to make sure that the bank and bank customers are protected. We have a top notch Fraud Department that monitors your activity, looking for things that are out of the ordinary so that we can stop fraud from occurring.

What happens if there is fraud?
If we confirm that your card has been used for fraudulent activity, we will turn it off immediately. The card will be closed so that it cannot be used for any purchase that you or someone else may attempt to authorize. We will then order a new card for you and will offer to issue a temporary card that you can pick up at your local branch. This temporary card is designed to get you through until your new permanent card arrives.

But what happens to the money that was stolen from you? You will need to contact the bank to file a dispute. It is through this dispute process that the bank will credit your money back to your account. If it is proven that the charge was fraudulent, you will not lose your money.

How can you protect yourself?
VCNB spends a lot of time and money to keep your accounts protected but we can only do so much. We rely on you, the customer, to monitor your own account activity. Here are three free ways you can do that:

  1. Turn off your card when you’re not using it. Yes, you read that right. You have the ability to turn your card off when you’re not using it and back on the minute you need it again. This can be done using VCNB Mobile or the Card Valet app for your debit card. You can control your VCNB Visa® card with Card Valet. We have customers who will turn their card on while standing in line at the store or when they pull up to the gas pump. When they finish the transaction, they turn off their card again before putting it back in their wallet. It’s a quick, easy and secure way to control how the card can be used.
  2. Monitor activity. This can be done in a few ways. Using Card Valet you can receive a text each time your card is used. You can also monitor activity in the VCNB Mobile app and on our website. Finally, you can sign up for free Account Alerts so you can receive a text or email every time your card is used. These are all free services to help you look after your money and accounts. If you see something suspicious or something you don’t recognize, contact the bank immediately.
  3. Place limitations on your card. Using VCNB Mobile or Card Valet, you can set limitations for each of your cards. You can set a monetary spending limitation as well as limitations on where a card can be used. You can determine a geographic area where the card can be used and say that it can only be used at certain kinds of retailers like grocery, gas stations or department stores. You can also place a monetary limit on each card so that it can be used for no more than $100 or whatever limit you choose. You can apply different limits to each of your cards and change them as you see fit.

We ask for your cooperation as we attempt to keep your money safe. If you see something that looks suspicious, we ask you to contact the bank immediately so that we can prevent a loss from occurring. This era in banking and currency has many conveniences but there are risks associated with using your cards, even with the retailers you trust the most. We thank you for your help keeping your money safe.

Small Business Spotlight: Bay Food Market

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month!  

Bay Food Market 1

If you’ve ever driven the roads of Fairfield County or the streets of Lancaster, you’ve no doubt seen one of the red Bay Food Market vans traveling about. It’s a brilliant yet simple piece of marketing, and the vans have become nearly as iconic as the little market on the corner of Maple and Walnut Streets in downtown Lancaster.

Since 1932, Bay Food Market has been serving up quality meats with great service in a locally owned and operated neighborhood grocery. As Lancaster’s oldest independent grocery, the Fairfield County staple has become an icon in Lancaster and around Ohio.

Bay Food Market was recently selected by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to be featured for “Women-Owned Business” month, showcasing a handful of women-owned businesses around Ohio.  The grocery is owned by siblings Karen Kraft Crutcher and David Kraft, who received a special commendation presented by Secretary of State’s Regional Liaison Bob Kalish.

Specials - Ham Steaks & RibeyesThe few who don’t already know about the market are now finding out why local patrons and long-time regular out-of-town visitors make the market a regular visit.  Known for their wide variety of fresh cut steaks and chops, house made brats and fresh sausage, and ham steaks, bacon, pork belly, and a variety of sausages smoked in-house, they are also well known for their variety of high quality and creative beef patties, some made with a variety of cheeses and even bacon.

And while the patties fly out the doors, beef brisket has become a top seller, something that wasn’t always the case, says co-owner David Kraft.  “It wasn’t until people started smoking (brisket) in maybe the mid-2000’s that it was anything special.  We actually used to grind it up.  But those meat smokers changed the game,” he explained.  On a visit to Texas, David said he kept seeing brisket on the menu and offered as a cut in local markets.  Once he saw what was happening and the popularity it was gaining, they revamped their strategy for this particular cut in their own market and stopped grinding it.  It’s become one of the most popular sellers, showing that a business as old as Bay Food Market is never too old to adapt and evolve.

Custom party trays and grill boxes are a hit with customers and it’s not uncommon to find something new and creative being offered behind the counter.  A recent visit saw Apple Brats on the price board, a secret concoction that David said exemplifies the inventiveness of their business.  “We’ll try to make anything – whether it’s by request, or just an idea that pops into our heads!”

And Bay Food Market is not just a meat market – you can find everything you need for your pantry, kitchen, cookout, or even your pet.  Fresh ham salad and beef barbeque are a regular offering.  Fresh produce, baking goods, sauces, spices and seasonings line the shelves, and local favorite Conn’s Potato Chips and Snacks are prominently offered.  Sweet treats like Pumpkin Rolls from Margaret’s Heritage Kitchen in Bremen can be found, as well as massive jars of pickles perfect for your cookout and dog treats and dog bones for your furry friend.

 

However, the meat is what drives business and it all comes from their state inspected meat processing facility – the only fully inspected red meat facility in Fairfield County. This means that an inspector from the Ohio Department of Agriculture is in their facility any time meat is being processed. The inspector is looking for quality and safe food handling practices.  The majority of their meat is not prepackaged or frozen, and their practice of only purchasing from farmers that do not use growth hormones and that limit their antibiotic use to an as needed basis assures that no additives or preservatives are added.

For a fantastic deal on filets or ribeye, smoked ham steak or New York strips, Bay Food Market is where you’ll find it.  The grocery is located at 301 South Maple Street in Lancaster, and can be contacted at 740.653.9606.  For hours, payment options, specials, and answers to frequently asked questions, visit them online at https://www.bayfoodmarket.com/ and find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BayFoodMarket.  Pay attention to their frequent contests, as you may be the next Fan of the Week!