Derry Drugs was one of several local businesses that closed up shop in 2013. That list also included Butler’s Bakery and Pick ‘N Save. 2013 also saw many news businesses open, including Cakecrazy, Ruler Foods, and two gun shops. (TB File Photo)
As we move from 2013 to 2014, we take time to look back at the top stories of the past year. Van Wert County saw events that were controversial, positive, terrifying, and disappointing during the 12 months. It certainly was not a boring year, and the candidates for the top ten stories of the year were widely varied. Choosing the top stories is never easy since one story will affect people quite differently, and some stories which generate little interest from the public actually have great impact on everyone. So the rankings are subjective, based on both community discussion and overall impact on the people of Van Wert County. We continue today with stories six through four.
A look back at the Van Wert City Directory from 100 years ago shows a number of businesses that were very popular and beloved back in the day but are unknown to most today. The lifecycle of local business turns slowly, but when some old and respected businesses close the doors for the final time there is still a sense of sadness at the loss of an old friend. Still even as doors are shutting on old businesses, new doors are opening for shopkeepers and other businesses in Van Wert County. And many entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the opportunity. As the community bids goodbye to some old businesses, it also sounds a welcome to some new ones.
The year 2013 marked the end for Butler’s Bakery downtown. The family business served many sweet treats, noodles, and breads over the course of the decades, but the downtown staple shut down earlier this year. However, the area does not have to go without sweet treats. Cake Crazy opened this year, joining Simply Irresistible as stops that can provide some incredible tasty temptations.
On the south side of Van Wert, Pick ‘N Save closed its doors this year. The large store sits empty now, but for many it was a weekly stop to pick up food and other grocery items. But just up Shannon St. this year, Ruler Foods opened its doors and found immediate success as a grocery outlet..
Derry Drugs closed after six decades of trusted service to many in the area. Namesakes Bill and Rondalee Derry had been out of the business since 1989 after establishing the business in 1953. But in 2013 the end came as owner Paul Svabik sold to CVS Pharmacy while many other health care providers across the country wondered about the future of the business. This business loss narrowed the available places in the county to get a prescription filled.
New options for Van Wert County consumers opened in 2013. While the names may not be as familiar, many have already found a customer base and have become trusted members of the business community. Label Shopper, Patriot Arms, MOD Boutique, Hall’s Custom Meats, Once I Was, The Embroidery Coop, Smith and Sons Firearms, and Market on Main are among the many new businesses welcomed this year. In Van Wert County, the business community continues although some names and locations have changed, some have expanded and some have become more specialized. Three familiar names are gone, but business continues.