The Market House Super­market store owner Brett Boyd said he is looking for new busi­nesses to fill the empty spaces of the building. Calli Townsend | Col­legian

The Market House Super­market is Hillsdale’s one-stop-shop for every­thing from gro­ceries and deli to postal ser­vices and a fitness center. Now the store owner, Brett Boyd, is looking to add another business or two. 

At the end of 2019, Domino’s fran­chisee Ken Clawson decided it was time to retire, leaving an empty space in Market House’s food court with no one new looking to sign a con­tract with the fran­chise to take its place.

“We’ve been looking at a lot of dif­ferent options to fill the space,” Boyd said. “We’re looking pri­marily at fresh food options. We’ve done a lot of due dili­gence on our side, ana­lyzing oppor­tu­nities to go there.” 

Boyd said he is con­sid­ering a wide range of food options, including ice cream, Chinese food, or a dif­ferent pizza option, but has yet to make a decision. He has traveled as far as Cal­i­fornia to find the best option. He said Market House is looking for some­thing that will com­plement the other foods that are already there, including Blimpie Subs, Biggby Coffee, and Krispy Krunchy Chicken.  

“It’s an exciting time. We have a clean slate here, a great location, and an oppor­tunity to add some­thing new and dif­ferent to the com­munity,” Boyd said. “We’ve been very patient in our review of other alter­na­tives because we want it to have a niche and we want it to be dif­ferent.” 

A new spot to eat in the food court isn’t the only thing Boyd is looking to add to his store. 

“We actually have another space in the store. It’s about 3,500 square feet that we’re looking at also adding, which is in the back,” he said. “You can’t see it right now because it’s part of our ware­house, but we’re looking at some options of opening up our floor plan to allow for another store­front that could poten­tially go back there.”

This space, unlike the area in the front of the store where Domino’s was, is being con­sidered for hard goods such as clothing or appli­ances. Boyd said he’s looked at several dif­ferent options for that space, and most recently visited the B2 Outlet in Cold­water. 

“We love their business model because they’re very com­munity-minded,” Boyd said. “We just looked at that option. It’s a Michigan-based business that has con­tracts with big box stores and they deal with new appli­ances, clothing, fur­niture. It’s a wide variety of stuff.”

These addi­tions are coming at an exciting time for the Hillsdale Market House. Founded in 1941 by Boyd’s great-great-grand­father, this fifth-gen­er­ation family-owned business is entering its 80th anniversary. 

“We’re going to cel­e­brate our 80th birthday,” Boyd said. “Our goal here is to be a fifth-gen­er­ation, 100-year Michigan family-owned business. And there’s not too many of those, so it’s really important that we make good deci­sions with this and that we add these two stores, one here up front, and then one towards the back of the store. It’s really important to our future that those are winners. We’ve been really delib­erate in making a decision because we want it to be right, to feel right.”

Part of making sure they make the right decision is getting the com­munity involved and making sure Market House intro­duces some­thing it either needs or will enjoy. 

“I’m getting a little impa­tient. I want to make a move,” Boyd said. “I want to make a dif­ference for my store, for our employees, for our com­munity, so we’ll see what happens. We’re relying on talking to everybody to meet the needs of the com­munity. And if there’s a need in our com­munity we don’t have, we have two store fronts we can utilize for that.” 

He said he’s reached out to com­munity members through the Market House Facebook page, and would also love to even hear what Hillsdale College stu­dents would like to see in the store.

“I would love to see a Chipotle,” Hillsdale College Junior Matthew Pfeifer said. “I once ate there five days a week for three months straight.” 

Mike Phillips has been the store manager of Market House for five years and was the assistant store manager 15 years prior to that. He greets cus­tomers by name and is very com­munity-driven, sup­porting Boyd’s mission to serve the com­munity. 

“That’s why we’re in business,” Phillips said. “It’s because of the cus­tomer base that we have.” 

Phillips said that despite the store’s already wide-ranging variety, he would like to see some­thing else com­plete all that they have. 

“This thing is going to kind of get us that final puzzle piece for every­thing else that we have,” Phillips said. “With the amount of time we’ve put into it, we’re going to make the right decision doing it. I think it’s going to com­plement every­thing very well.” 

As deci­sions come to their final stages, Boyd said Market House Super­market should have two more stores to offer the com­munity of Hillsdale by the end of this year or early next year when it cel­e­brates its 80th anniversary. 

“My great-great-grand­father had a saying, ‘If you’re not making dust, you’re gonna eat it,’” Boyd said. “We’re gonna make some dust this year.”