VEEDERSBURG, Ind. —
For people looking for authentic Wisconsin cheese or spice, pasta or other ingredients in bulk, then the Coal Creek Country Store might fill the need.
Nestled in the country south of Veedersburg, the store is a 30-year dream of Cindy and John Froedge.
“My mom used to take me to a place in Crawfordsville like this,” Cindy said. “I always wanted to do something like this.”
Froedge had been watching her grandchildren, but they enter kindergarten this year and she decided it was time to do something else.
She does the book work for her husband’s business, Froedge’s Gravel Pit just down the road.
About a year ago, she and her husband, other family members and neighbors began converting a 30-foot by 40-foot garage into a cheery, light, airy facility just right for the country store.
“This used to be a shed where my husband and son worked on cars,” she said.
Visitors wouldn’t recognize that use now. It is close to her house so she can easily see when customers pull up.
She opened in mid June and word of mouth has drawn customers from both sides of the Indiana/Illinois line.
The Wisconsin cheese is her biggest draw right now. It comes from Jim’s Cheese Pantry in Waterloo, Wis., which
ironically is the same cheese she remembered at the Crawfordsville store she visited while a child in Waveland. She graduated from Southmont High School.
She has all kinds of cheese, and will order cheese if visitors don’t find what they want. Her string cheese is popular.
She and her mother went to the wholesale store in Wisconsin and had a grand time sampling the various cheeses.
“I am always asking people what they want,” she said. “I started with the basic stuff.”
She has added deli meats at the request of neighbors.
Her bulk food comes from Dutch Valley Foods in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. She carries many spices. She has peanuts, rice, coconut, various mixes, snack foods and candy. Froedge is more than willing to make special orders for requests.
She has several gluten-free items.
“I love to cook, and this place is ideal for those who like to cook,” she said. “I have had many repeat customers.”
One of those repeat customers is Debbie Richey, who lives west of Veedersburg. She was thrilled to see Froedge open the store.
“I was going to Parke County (to a similar store),” she said. “It is so nice to have something right here. I am so in love with the store.”
Richey likes the uniqueness of the store and “to be able to buy so much cheaper. I do a lot of baking.”
Where the store will lead Froedge, she isn’t sure. She has room to expand. She is waiting to see what her customers want, and living her dream.
IF YOU GO
The Coal Creek Country Store is at 242 W. Bonebrake Road, 2 miles west of U.S. Route 41 south of Interstate 74 at Veedersburg, Ind. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT Wednesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT Saturdays. For information, call (765) 294-4413.