Step through the door of the Easton Village Store and you're reminded of Easton's country town roots. And that's just what Marsel and Mary Huribal were looking for when they bought the over-century-old store three years ago. The couple, who moved to town in 1999, wanted to continue the country store image while giving Eastonites from all walks of life a place to get to know one another better.
"Really, on the day to day, we don't have a place where most people can gather, meet for a cup of coffee, have a discussion ... this is a place that can sort of attract outsiders to come in and get a sense of the community," said Marsel, a surgeon who is originally from Turkey.
The Huribals say that because Marsel is a surgeon and Mary (a former nurse) a stay at home mother of four, they are able to focus on the store's feel without having to worry about living on its profits. "Our objective is that our kids have a place and that our community has a place."
The couple's children often work at the store at 440 Sport Hill Rd. Their oldest daughter, Caitlin, 25, runs the store while Marsel is at work and Mary cares for the other children, her mother and her mother-in-law, who live in their home.
"Caitlin does such a great job, she's great with the people and she's got good managerial skills and has good business sense, so I think that it's kind of a load off our minds knowing that it's in the right hands," said Mary.
Giving their children, and other people's children, the opportunity to work in the store is important to them. "Both my wife and I come from sort of an old-fashioned upbringing where it's important to have the kids learn what it means to earn money, to work and to actually deal with people at a young age," said Marsel.
"It's a great way to get to know people in town and feel even more of a sense of a community," said Mary.
The couple hope to have a renovation proposal approved for the two barns in the back of the store to create space for coffee and a new deli. There will be a public hearing Monday at 8 p.m. in the Helen Keller Middle School Cafeteria.
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