Roger and Jennifer Poling are the new owners of Hodgesville Mini Mart, formerly Bruce's Store.

Bruce’s Store has been sold! Meet the owners of the new Hodgesville Mini Mart

HODGESVILLE – Bruce’s Store is officially under new ownership and has a new name as well – Hodgesville Mini Mart.

Bruce and Jackie Bennett recently sold the mini-mart and gas station to Jennifer and Roger Poling after owning it for 20 years.

The longtime owners of the family-run business – famous for its homemade pies, hot dogs, pepperoni rolls, Hunt Brother Pizza and more – decided it was time to turn over the keys to the store to a younger set of hands.

“We came to a point in our life, we couldn’t expand it or make it any bigger,” Bruce Bennett said Wednesday, one day after making the announcement on social media. “It will take someone younger to be able to make the business grow for the community, and that’s when we met Roger and Jennifer and they have the energy, enthusiasm to take it to the next level.”

The Polings are from Barbour County, according to the mini-mart’s Facebook page, which featured the following the ownership change announcement Tuesday, April 30.

“It is a bitter sweet day for us. With the community in mind, we built and grew Bruce’s Store,” the post read. “The store has been a staple in Hodgesville for over 20 years. This has only been possible because of the tremendous support of the community and surrounding areas.”

Jennifer Poling said the two couples had been in talks for about two years about selling the business.

“I have owned a few businesses before in my life and also work for Citizens Bank, and I’ve just always had that desire to own another business, and [I] met Bruce at the bank and just started talking about it and thinking about it and knew it was a good store,” she said. “I grew up in Volga and I’ve known Bruce’s Store was here and when he felt like he and Jackie might be interested in selling, I just felt like it was a really good opportunity to have a business in the community that we could grow.”

Poling said she and her husband plan on making some new additions to the store while keeping the same things in stock as before. After all, she knows regular customers have favorite items that keep the coming back.

“We’re going to try to keep as many things as we can,” she said. “I know that they have a lot of customers that buy a lot of special items here, and we’ll try to keep absolutely everything we can.”

“We would just encourage the customers, if we don’t have something, to ask if we can get it, and we would be happy to try to do that for them,” Jennifer Poling added.

Some of the new additions they hope to add to the store soon are diesel fuel, possibly extending the hours from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and more hot food options. Some of the food options will include hot sandwiches and a coffee bar with cappuccino, hot chocolate and several varieties of coffee.

Bruce and Jackie Bennett said they describe selling the store as “bittersweet.”

“I’ve told Roger, if he has half as much fun as I have the last 20 years, he’ll be lucky, and it will be good for him,” Bruce Bennett said. “It gave me the opportunity for me and my wife to work together every day and work in the community and we have enjoyed it.”

Jackie Bennett said she will miss working with her customers, but she hopes they will continue to patronize the store.

“I really just want to thank the people that have been supporting us for so long,” Jackie Bennett said. “I really hope everyone comes back to the Hodgesville Mini Mart.”

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