Mar-Be-Mart reopens with country cooking

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 13, 2012



On a dry-erase board in the deli of the new Mar-Be-Mart/Cenergy on Hwy. 29 North the message reads, “Cookin‘ so good, you’ll think we stole yo mama.”

For a little more than a month, the deli at the Cenergy oil and gas station has been serving customers who make the daily trek up and down the short stretch of road.

Cenergy celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, which the former owner — Betty Bass — attended. Bass and her husband, Marlon, owned Bass Oil Co., which was located on the same spot.

Cenergy owner Anthony King purchased the piece of property because of what was located behind the Mar-Be-Mart, where oil and fuel were sold in bulk.

“When I asked Mrs. Bass if she’d sell it to me, this was all I was interested in was this piece of property back here,” King said. “We’ll load fuel up on a truck and deliver it to people who have their own bulk fuel tanks.”

Like many people who ventured down the short Hwy. 29 stretch in front of the convenience store, King said he remembered doing so with his grandparents as a little boy.

“My family has been around here for a very long time,” he said. “My grandmother and grandfather King were retired. They owned King’s Cafeteria in Andalusia.

“They retired to Gantt, and so we traveled up and down this road,” he said. “My grandparents never shopped here. They ‘traded’ here (with the Basses), who owned the original Mar-Be-Mart, or the Old Mar-Be-Mart, as people used to call it.”

Shockingly enough, the new Mar-Be-Mart convenience store was an after-thought, King said.

“After I bought the property, for a while I considered turning that store into my office for about a month,” he said. “I was still cleaning this place up, clearing out fence rows and garbage, and old stock left here. I decided to remodel it, add on to it, and open the store.”

The convenience store-gas station sells items for anyone on the run — from soda fountain drinks, snacks, hunting and car supplies to a full meal in its new deli. Additionally, the convenience store features a walk-in beer cave.

The deli serves breakfast and lunch six days per week — Monday through Saturday. Breakfast is served from 5 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.; and lunch is served from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Throughout the day, the deli serves pizzas. Those who are interested may call in an order for carry out or dine in, King said.

What many people may not know about the deli is the sitting area, King said.

Every day, the deli rotates its menu, serving different vegetables, meats and something other than fried chicken.

“People came in here and would ask if we had the fried chicken that Mar-Be-Mart used to have,” King said. “That was kind of why we did it (built a convenience store).”

Mar-Be-Mart operations manager Brittany Dauphin said so far, the store has seen great business.

“It’s been a real good success so far,” she said. “So far, we’ve done very well for our first four weeks.”

Store hours are from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and on Sunday from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Breakfast isn’t served on Sundays, but “we do one heck of a lunch,” King said.

To place call-in orders, contact Mar-Be-Mart at 334-427-8741.