The store at Greg Williams Tree Service, located at the intersection of Route 211 and Richmond Road, took on a new look at the start of the spring season. The building, which formerly served only as a business center for Williams’ Tree Service and sold a limited selection of fruit and produce grown on the Williams’ farm, is now a market selling locally sourced products from the county and surrounding area.
Together with Robbie Critzer, who recently became the store manager, Williams decided to expand the store’s retail offerings and restore the space to its glory days as a market.
“She’s been the driving force in making it from just a produce stand into an actual marketplace,” Williams said of Critzer.
Some might remember the storefront as the Ecow, a market and restaurant, and before that as the Ben Venue Store, an old-fashioned country store akin to Laurel Mills or Hackley’s. Greg Williams moved his business from his home in Amissville to the new location in 2012, ending the building’s few years of vacancy.
The inside of the building once held rooms for offices and has been renovated into an open layout with shelving for their assortment of local goods. Williams and Critzer hope the changes will make it easier for the community to shop locally and accommodate customer requests.
“We’re looking for things that people ask for,” Critzer said, adding that they now carry rabbit meat because of a customer request.
Critzer’s ambition for creating a local market stems from her love of agriculture.
“I just love everything farming,” she said. “I love growing plants, I love chickens, I love all that kind of stuff.”
In addition to tree and landscaping services the business offers gravel, sand, mulch, topsoil, horse hay and straw. For the aspiring chicken farmer, they sell chickens and chicken coops. Pumpkins and Christmas trees are sold seasonally.
The new space offers a selection of vegetables, fruits, jams and jellies, as well as beef and pork raised at the Williams’ farm. Baked goods from Mennonite-run Peachey’s Bakery in Madison County are delivered every Friday afternoon — but they always sell out by the end of the day.