Hartman’s Country Cupboard, known for its pizza, subs and salads, and located at 5390 Selma Pike in Pitchin, is closing its doors permanently at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 10.
“It’s a little too much for me to handle these days,” said Sean Hartman, who owns the store with his wife, Kristin. “There’s been a few people talking about maybe purchasing the place, so there may be a future for it.”
Hartman graduated in 1989 from high school in the Southeastern School District. Upon graduating, he and his parents worked together to purchase the Fisher Family’s Pitchin General Store.
The building’s first store opened in the mid-1880s. Decades later the Farrell Family had its General Store there from 1937 until the Fishers’ bought it in 1971. They were the store’s proprietors until the Hartman Family acquired it 18 years later.
In May 2003 a massive electrical fire destroyed much of Hartman’s landmark. Although they were devastated, they felt lucky that many of the one-of-a-kind artifacts were spared. Sean took his time the next 11 years to restore the historic site to its “old-fashioned” general store. It reopened in the spring of 2014.
“Country Cupboard has been my husband’s passion for a very long time,” Kristin wrote in a post on the store’s Facebook page. “It’s not just a place of employment, but a place of memories. It’s home. The Pitchin Mall as some call it, is a piece of history lodged in many people’s childhood memories.”
She wrote that her husband has worked endlessly to create pizza on a homemade crust, mouthwatering subs and humongous salads for many years.
“The motto on our pizza box used to say, ‘Small enough to know you, large enough to serve you.’ Thank you for being a part of our life. You all are simply the best,” Kristin wrote.
The couple is hopeful another family will step up and take the store over with the same love, passion and dedication that they have had.
“It’s time for hopefully a family to step up to the plate and take the store over,” Sean said. “It needs a back bone. It needs a family to run it.”
Sean said he appreciates the customers and will miss all the good times and conversations they have had.
“I tried to do the best I could as a steward for the place, and it’s just time to move on,” Sean said. “Everybody just reaches that time in their life.”
Hartman’s Country Cupboard is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.