Up to February, the Philippi Sheetz could be seen standing where a pile of rock sits today. Now, city residents will have to go elsewhere to get their coffee fix, but they won't have to go far. With the Sheetz closing, the Barbour County Garden Market said it's been getting a boost from customers in need of that morning wake-up or late night snack.
"We have been blessed with additional business for the donuts, the coffee, the produce, and even just a place to hang out. We have 20 megs of Wi-Fi here that is not password protected," said market manager Reg Trefethen.
That's good news for the market, but it also means a boost for local residents too. Many of the growers that sell their products in Philippi are Barbour County residents, and more people in the shop means more opportunities to keep money within the county.
"It's made a big difference, not only financially, because obviously, when the kids come in, we've seen a bump of about 12 to 14 percent since the Sheetz has closed and the kids have been coming here," Trefethen said.
Residents who don't farm may soon see some benefit as well. The market is operated by Heart and Hand Ministries, and when all the departments completely open, proceeds from the business will support the group's outreach within the county.
"But the donut shop, the coffee shop, and eventually the cafe when we open that, the margins are better there, and that will give us some incremental revenue that will not only cover our overhead here, but that will also feed Heart and Hand to other ministries that they have," said Trefethen.