The owners of a new deli in downtown Mechanicsburg hope fresh pastries, locally made products and home-cooked meals can lure more customers to the village.
The Hive, which opened just a few weeks ago, wants to offer something new for local residents, owner Lyndsey Murphy said. The market is offering fresh, homemade meals from breakfast through dinner and carries a variety of products produced by vendors in Champaign County.
It’s specialty, Murphy said, are its salads and pre-packed lunches and dinners that allow customers to grab a healthy, freshly made meal on a lunch break or on the way home from work.
“There aren’t a lot of places to eat in town other than pizza,” said Murphy, who runs the store with help from her mother Amy Forrest and friend McKenzie Shore. “We’re trying to open people up to experience something different.”
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Murphy grew up in Mechanicsburg, where her family has owned a farm just outside the village for five generations. She spent several years in the public relations industry in Washington, D.C., but returned home and bought the building at 22 S. Main St. in August 2016.
“I got tired of sitting behind a desk,” Murphy said.
The site previously served as an event space that hosted bridal showers and wine and yoga parties before Murphy and her mother decided to open the market. Murphy said her mother’s work ethic and cooking skills encouraged her to open a full-scale market.
Forrest cooks the take-home meals that are available for lunch and dinner, while Murphy bakes the cinnamon rolls, muffins and other pastries that are available for breakfast each morning. Shore focuses on the customer-service portion of the business.
The Hive’s most popular items are the to-go lunches and dinners, which include options like wraps, and brisket and mashed potatoes. If customers call far enough in advance, the market will heat the meals in time for customers to take home and eat right away.
“It comes from my mom’s commitment to absolute customer service,” Murphy said. “That’s her idea.”
The store also sells a variety of items, nearly all of which are produced in Champaign County or neighboring counties. The market’s shelves are stocked with condiments from Robert Rothschild Farm, and a small freezer contains chicken and beef raised at local farms. The Hive also carries items like milk from the nearby Dugan Road Creamery.
Murphy hopes the market draws more customers downtown. And once it becomes better known, commuters on their way to work in Columbus or Urbana may stop by for breakfast or dinner, she said. The village hasn’t had its own grocery store for about a decade, so the goal is to eventually offer fresh vegetables and fruit from local farmers, she said.
And beginning next month, the Hive will offer 12-person cooking classes to provide another activity for local residents.
“We’re trying to bring a little back to downtown Mechanicsburg,” Murphy said.