Last updated: November 25. 2013 10:13PM - 918 Views
By William Duffield Staff writer



William Duffield | Xenia GazetteDonna Hughes, left, and Linda Curtis work on a bow to highlight a gift basket at Donna Jean's Bulk Foods in Cedarville.
William Duffield | Xenia GazetteDonna Hughes, left, and Linda Curtis work on a bow to highlight a gift basket at Donna Jean's Bulk Foods in Cedarville.
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CEDARVILLE — For Donna Hughes, it was something to keep her busy. For Linda Curtis, it’s something she’s wanted to do for year. Hughes’ venture into the business world brings Cedarville residents a place to shop for bulk food at a time when most people her age are looking to retirement.


“I needed something to do,” Hughes, owner of Donna Jean’s Ltd., said. “I was vegetating. I needed to be busy.”


Why bulk food?


“It’s just something I’ve liked,” she said, after selling some items like Amish jams, and other items during farmers markets in Cedarville this past summer. “I thought it would be interesting.


“Then, I found out there is no other bulk food store in Greene County, so I think this is a good addition to what we have in the county.”


The store, located at 29 West Xenia Avenue near the intersection of routes 42 and 72, offers items that are delivered in from Pennsylvania and Amish Country in northern Ohio, Hughes said. The inventory includes a plethora of items, from candies, nuts, grains, even selections of cheese, trail bologna and Amish butter, which Hughes said is a big hit.


“We sell a lot of that,” she said. “We also sell a lot of our dip mixes and pickled garlic.”


The store offers an organic section that includes pasta, flour, and even jars of raw agave. There are also gluten free items as well as sugar free inventory, including jams and jellies. Hughes has a wheat sensitivity, giving her experience with the gluten free products.


There are also MSG-free items and a wall of bulk spices that leaves the back of the store smelling fantastic.


In the baking section, there is a variety of colored sugars.


“There is every color we could find,” Hughes said. “But we can never find gold.”


“I’ve always wanted to do a bulk food store,” Curtis said. “One day, I told Donna she should do it and she said ‘yeah’ and here we are. I told her ‘You better fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a ride’.”


The store opened on Oct. 23, but held its official ribbon cutting this past Saturday.


“We had a good day,” Curtis said of Saturday’s event. “I think we had around 200.”


Curtis said she and Hughes have been friends for years.


“We’re like Lucy and Ethel,” she laughed. “So far we haven’t got in too much trouble.”


Both ladies say they’ve been blessed with the reception to the store.


“Students from the university have been wonderful,” Hughes said. “They come in here a lot.


“In the month we’ve been open, there have only been a few days that we weren’t busy all day long.”


Along with helping her friend sell items at the store, Curtis is also a hair stylist at Hair Limits, a salon in Cedarville.


Contact William Duffield at bduffield@civitasmedia.com or by phone at 372-4444 ext. 133.


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