Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Andy's Market owner enjoying retirement

by on August 18, 2013 2:00 AM

HOME — Officially and for the record, Andy’s Market closed earlier this summer.

And officially, proprietor Allan Kinter is retired from the convenience store business.

So he officially no longer needs to get up at the crack of dawn, unlock the doors and put on the coffee, which, officially, isn’t being sold there any more.

But unofficially, on the down low and Q.T., you still might catch him there first thing in the morning, yakking with the guys in the coffee klatch who still show up for their fix of caffeine and gossip.

You know, old habits and such.

He doesn’t mind, though, he said.

“It’s my way of breaking free.”

Breaking free, that is, of a routine Kinter settled into during the 33 years the Rayne Township store was in business.

Kinter said he decided to open the store after sensing an opportunity when the land that is now his parking lot came up for sale. He already owned the building, and its location, the corner of Route 119 and Tanoma Road, simply seemed like a really good place for a store.

And Andy’s seemed like a really good name, he said. Short. Easy to remember.

There is an Andy, by the way. It’s his son.

Kinter said the thought was that perhaps he would one day take over the business. He didn’t, though, opting for a career of his own.

Like so many other country convenience stores, Andy’s was a little oasis in the woods, the place to go for your morning coffee and your evening milk and lunch meat run.

Kinter stocked a little bit of everything. Cigarettes. Snacks. Household supplies. Hardware. Some of it sold well, and some of it didn’t. And some of it has sat in the store for years, like, for instance, the oil-can spout, for use back in the day when oil was sold in metal cans.

Although Kinter is retired from being a shopkeeper, he remains in the maple syrup business, so he’ll continue to produce his Andy’s Own line of products. In fact, he said, he plans to devote more time to that business now that he doesn’t have the store to worry about.

Although not having the store has created something of a problem — it was the primary distribution point for his maple syrup.

“We’ve never really had to reach out and hunt for a market before,” he said.

Given that, he’s had try some new things. For example, he will have a booth at the Indiana County Fair this year, the first time he’s had one there.

But that aside, Kinter said he’s still getting used to retirement, and he finds himself sometimes thinking that he’ll need to put an order in for this or that when he sees empty spots on the shelves.

That’s not to say he isn’t enjoying retirement, though. And he was ready for it.

One of the places he’s been enjoying his retirement is on the bench in front of the store.

“Now I get to sit out here and watch the traffic go by,” he said, chewing on a cigar.

Sam Kusic is a staff writer for The Indiana Gazette.
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