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The Paul R. Swartzen-truber family is no stranger to business.
Paul, his wife, Naomi, and their four children have owned and operated Green Acres Furniture just outside Mount Eaton for more than 20 years. But now, the family is launching a brand-new business venture.
The Swartzentrubers recently broke ground for the Red Tomato Market, at the intersection of U.S. 250 and state Route 241 in the southeastern Wayne County village of Mount Eaton.
When completed later this year the Red Tomato Market will house 12,000 square feet of fresh produce, meats, dairy, grocery items and "to go" foods.
Paul and Naomi's son, Steve, and his wife, Miriam, will be managing the day-to-day operations of the market, which is a dream come true for the eldest Swartzentruber child. "Most of my life has been spent in the furniture business, but there have been many times that I have found myself thinking about opening a market," Steve said.
The Swartzentrubers are hopeful that Red Tomato Market will appeal to local families as well as the area's burgeoning tourist traffic. There definitely is no shortage of traffic in Mount Eaton. "We did a lot of homework with the Ohio Department of Transportation," Steve said, and discovered that there are 11 roads that lead into Mount Eaton, including two state routes and one U.S. highway.
"There is an unbelievable amount of traffic through here every day, and we hope that folks who are visiting the area to enjoy Amish Country will visit us, too."
The decision to pursue such a large venture was not one that the Swartzentrubers took lightly.
"The entire family had input into this decision," Steve said, adding that at one point the site that now will be home to the Red Tomato Market "came pretty close to being sold." Steve said the family is "very excited to be a part of Mount Eaton's growth," noting that Red Tomato Market will join the newly renovated "Uncle E's" restaurant, and Evergreen RV Park as destinations that serve local residents as well as tourists.
With groundbreaking out of the way, and construction scheduled to follow immediately, the Swartzentrubers are projecting the Red Tomato Market will open some time in October.