Pfaff's Market staff

Pictured (from left) is Jim and Johnnie Kmetz and Linda and John Fox.

ST MARYS — Pfaff’s Market of St. Marys has been a family-owned community staple for more than 70 years.

John and Linda Fox, their daughter, Johnnie Kmetz and her husband, Jim, all run the Atlantic Street store together.

What has made the store “famous,” John Fox said, is the seven different varieties of in-house smoked sausage. It also offers different beef sticks and smoked cheeses. Another community favorite, the family said, is homemade “dillweed dip.”

The store, opened in 1948 by Bob Pfaff, is special to Fox, since he worked there in high school. The Fox family took over the business in 1997. Johnnie recalled coming in and helping at the store throughout her middle school years.

Fox, who has 37 years in the grocery store business, said when he bought the store, he was still seeing some of the same regulars he remembered from high school.

“We have met a lot of people throughout the years,” he said.

When John was off of work for nine weeks due to a health issue, he was amazed at the number of people who sent cards or came into the store to help, he says.

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Kmetz, who has known the grocery business most of her life, delivers groceries to people who are unable to leave the house every Thursday. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, employees delivered every single day.

“We’re very appreciative of everyone who has been loyal to us before and during the pandemic,” she said.

Pfaff’s Market also saw many new faces throughout COVID-19, he noted, since it seemed some were avoiding the big-box stores.

Johnnie says working with family goes very smoothly, and each person plays their own role.

The store, which carries produce, necessities, frozen food and more, is much more than that to the community — it’s a place of family, John says. Part of the Pfaff’s appeal is being able to shop and support local.

“We still carry groceries out for people, and go the extra steps,” John said. “We know their first names. People will stop in just to say hi.”

For more information, visit Pfaff’s Market on Facebook or call 814-834-2061.

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