Stull’s Country Store, where friends mingle with strangers
“We are really not a restaurant per se, but a hip little country store that just keeps it simple and easy,” says owner Marlinda “Maury” Stull.
Located in a tiny area known as Andyville, Stull’s Country Store was operated by her parents, Marvin and Linda, from 1972, until Maury bought it in 2006.
“I grew up in this store—so many memories—it has shaped me and contributed to who I am today,” says Stull. As a hands-on owner—but not a cook—Stull taught special education for 27 years and says she has always been called to serve. “When I bought the store, it was just another extension of who I am. It is a mission. You can’t explain it, you just have to experience it.” Stull says.
Located in northern Meade County and served by Meade County RECC, the store, which has been the center the community since the late 1940’s, has antiques everywhere and offers groceries, sundries, gas, beer, fresh meats and a deli. Visitors don’t leave without taking a seat in the iconic rocking chairs on the front porch.
“As I get older, says Stull, “I realize how different we are from most of the retail/restaurant industry. We are a small, unique place. Most folks are in awe when they visit for the first time. Folks are intrigued by a country store that still operates much in the same way as it did years ago.”
Visitors can take time to explore the store and look at all the antique toys, jars, advertisements and things that grace the walls. They can then settle in for something good to eat. If it is warm outside people usually set outside undercover near the BBQ pit and have an adult beverage when the outdoor bar is open.
Great food and events year-round
“We cook good stuff on the side with great events throughout the seasons,” Stull says. With a staff of five, they cook homestyle BBQ daily, a perennial favorite. Food on the weekends rotates with the season—fried fish; smoked BBQ, brisket, pork and bologna; and pork tenderloin.
“Our homemade chili is always simmering when the weather turns cool in the fall and winter. Pork tenderloin sandwiches are on after smoked BBQ is finished after Labor Day,” says Stull. “And oh, they are cut, tenderized by hand and fried the old-fashioned way, in a skillet with love.”
They smoke BBQ, brisket, pork, bologna and potatoes each Thursday through Saturday from Derby weekend to Labor Day weekend.
Drinks include the usual: coffee, soft drinks, beer, craft beers, and hard cider.
Stull’s also offers breakfast every morning. There’s biscuits and gravy, “eggs cooked any way you like,” Stull’s homemade sausage, and Mariah Platter Bacon “fried perfectly.”
Stull’s Country Store is known for celebrating events throughout the year.
Their Mardi Gras event features their friends from J. Gumbos, Louisville, who come down to serve red beans and rice, as well as jambalaya.
Fish Fry Fridays take place each Friday during Lent until Easter. Stull’s fries from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. There’s beer-battered cod, fantail shrimp, frog legs, Sherry’s Homemade Hushpuppies with creamy cole slaw and Wicks Sweet Cream pie for dessert.
The Dogs & Suds event in spring welcomes everyone with four-legged friends for a day of smoked BBQ, craft beer and music served under the shade of a 100-year-old oak in the side yard. Proceeds from that day go to the local animal shelter.
The South of the Border event in summer showcases Stull’s smoked BBQ, brisket in tacos and nachos, with a live radio broadcast and music.
Octoberfest features smoked German sausages, hoisting of the stein, with music around the fire pit and great times.
While Stull’s Country Store does not cater at events, they will prepare their smoked and Homestyle BBQ for moderate-size groups. “We can deliver and prep it for you. While we don’t have the manpower to serve at an event, we have prepared our BBQ for parties as large as 500 folks,” says Stull.
Take a piece of Stull’s with you
Folks visit from everywhere to be part of something that harkens from the past, but gives them a taste of the simple life, explains Stull. “There are not many country stores left in the state,” says Stull.
“When I took over the store, I felt that folks would want to take with them a piece of who we are, a souvenir,” Stull says. “So I have had several T-shirts made with the slogan, ‘Where the Hell’s Andyville?’ Stull’s Country Store, it’s not just a store, it’s a destination. Don’t blink or you’ll miss us.”
With a strong social media following, Stull says people take the shirts with them all over the globe from the Vatican, Australia, Europe, Africa and as close to home as Brandenburg, Louisville, and Corydon, Indiana, too. “They share their journey with us on our Facebook page. It is quite fulfilling and nice, it fills us up with gratitude that they would think of us on their journey,” Stull says.
Friend Ben Stevens summed it up eloquently in a Facebook post following his recent visit: “The store is more than an outpost surrounded by large corn and soybean fields. It is a center post of the community. It attracts locals, loggers, nearby residents, city slickers and curiosity seekers from far beyond. It is a place where people come together. It is real people, interacting with real people. It is life as it should be…friends mingling with strangers, enjoying the beauty of life.”
Owner Maury Stull agrees. “Folks who get it, get it. So if you are in a hurry, Stull’s isn’t for you. We just like it easy and simple, full of gratitude and love. It doesn’t get any better.”
Stull’s Country Store is located at 4385 Rhodelia Road, Payneville, and is open seven days a week. They have spring/summer and fall/winter hours. For more information go to their website www.stullscountrystore.com or follow them on Facebook: Stull’s Country Store.