By Sharon MacGregor
While the name may not be on the tip of everyone’s tongue, anyone who has even driven through the five-corner intersection in Bullville knows the Stonehenge Market. The building with the bull on the roof, where they sell produce, plants, and now Christmas trees and wreaths, the one that looks like it could be the backdrop for one of those cable television holiday love stories – that one.
Stonehenge Market, in business since 1972, will be open through the winter for the first time in years. The business is managed by local resident, Kate Loechner who shared, “We are an essential business. We sell fresh produce, and local products like milk from Stapp Dairy in Pine Bush, cheeses, local baked goods, and more. The local prefer to shop here and our customers want to keep us in business, and we want to please them.”
A selection of about 150 Christmas trees is available and wreaths created by a greenhouse in nearby Circleville are decorated on-site.
Asked about the bull on the roof, Loechner explains, “Well, that is a working smoker. Both the bull and the pig are smokers which blow smoke out of their noses and were built using car metal that was welded together. They are no longer being made and so they live on the roof now.”
What are some of the features that make Stonehenge Market unique? Loechner proudly answered, “We have as little waste here as possible. If any of the produce seems like it’s just not picture perfect, we donate it to the Montgomery Food Pantry. If the produce has gone beyond safe for human consumption, we donate it to the local animal sanctuary, Reclaimed Dignity. If a plant is in some way suffering, we have a lovely woman here who sets up a plant hospital zone during the warmer months, and she nurses the plants back to health and keeps them out of the dumpster whenever possible. With her they have a fighting chance for a home.”
“Also, we have done some great and successful fundraisers with some local organizations. Mums and poinsettias make great fundraisers plus they are a little different. Everything is really difficult this year,” she smiles and takes a breath.
“We are established. Everyone knows us. I love working here. Really. I love working with the plants and being part of the local experience. The produce we sell is 80% local and the only exceptions are the items that just aren’t grown here.”
And remember, if other parts of the country are battling Mother Nature in some way, we will be impacted through availability and pricing. But for winter, we plan on offering great produce, baked goods, and a lot of regular items, plus things like calcium chloride, rock salt, and even toiletries to make Stonehenge a convenient spot to stop.”
“This is just an awesome place. We have the best staff and that means the right players are on the right bases. Everyone works together and its phenomenal. I never wake up and dread going to work.”
“I just love this place. My blood, sweat, and tears are here through all the seasons. I love it all. I’ve made my mark by expanding the shrubs and perennials. People are realizing the investment is worth it over just a garden on annuals. We load this place up twice a week during the season and will take customer requests (for perennials).”
What about that thought that Stonehenge Market could be the backdrop for an awesome love story?
Loechner’s smile can be seen from underneath her mask, as her eyes brighten, and she laughs.
“I met my fiancé here,” she says. “Kevin (Hantusch) and I were supposed to get married this year and a lot of our local vendors suggested we do something right here on site. We appreciate it very much, but we are postponing – we don’t want to cut our guest list. But yes, we met here, he still runs the Christmas tree yard and his Dad played Santa in the past. We also have a dog, Stein, whose name in German translates to stone and we love the play on Stonehenge.”