Eby's Store began as a family owned business, and has remained in the family to this day. In 1945 Martin and Bessie Buckwalter bought the business from George Withers. They and their 8 children lived in the house attached to the store, and ran the business together. At that time customers did not "shop" for themselves. They brought their list of needs, and Martin and Bessie would gather the items by hand.
Everything was itemized on a bill pad, and added together by hand. The groceries were packed in baskets the customers brought with them, or in empty cardboard boxes. Grocery shopping was a social event; people came to hear the latest news, or to share something new.
As the business grew, and the Buckwalter children got married and left home, Martin and Bessie needed help. In 1962 their daughter Jane, her husband Richard Eby, and their 6 children moved into the house. Buckwalter's Store then became Buckwalter and Eby's. The store remained the hub of Martindale. At that time there was no 911. Fire calls were received at the store, we then went outside to press the button that started the fire siren, and told the firemen where to go.
In 1970 Martin and Bessie were ready to retire, and Buckwalter and Eby's became Eby's General Store. It truly was a general store. We sold many more items than just groceries. We carried, wire fencing, stove pipe, tobacco, muslin, hardware, shoes, coats, gloves, material, seeds, bicycles, mailboxes, hunting licenses, fishing licenses, dog licenses, literally everything but kitchen sinks. In 1975 we started making subs. Our deli business has grown considerably, and we are now known for our delicious sandwiches and our homemade soups!
In 1994, a heavy snow brought down the roof of the post office across the street. The postmaster was ready to retire, and did not want to rebuild. Everyone in town wanted to keep the post office in Martindale. Richard agreed to make room for the post office inside the store, and his three daughters agreed to run it.
By the year 2000, Richard and Jane were ready to retire. Their daughters, Deborah Ober, Diane Delgado, and Nancy Portaro, had all remained in the business. They had grown up in the store, raised their own children there, and wanted to keep it going. They decided to keep the name "Eby's Store". As business has grown, they've had to hire people outside of the family; but once they're here, they become family as well. Through the years every grandchild of Richard and Jane has worked in the store after school and on Saturdays. Some have stayed, others moved on. In 2012, Eby's Store underwent another change of ownership in the family, with Nancy Portaro and Cory Ober (son of Deborah) now running the business. Cory and his wife Nicole now work the store and live in "the house" with their 2 young daughters.
There have been many changes over the years. We carry fewer hardware and dry good items, and focus more on groceries and fresh foods. Look for more changes as we constantly enhance our services. One thing that hasn't changed, you will always receive a friendly welcome when you stop at Eby's! Where else can you shop for groceries, mail a package, get your dog license, and order subs for supper?!