The Story of the Man Behind the Bemus Point Market

John Marsh
John Marsh

Article Contributed by
Katie Smith

Runner, father, husband, community supporter, employer, church goer, friend, good neighbor, conversationalist – just a few adjectives that would describe John Marsh, proprietor of the Bemus Point Market. Everyone who passes by has a greeting for John and often an extended conversation.
Throughout his high school and college years John worked summers at the market to gain the experience and ability to become the sole proprietor when he inherited the store from his dad. John is a 1985 graduate of SUNY Fredonia with a business administration/marketing degree. His wife of 30 years, Ruth, is a 1986 Fredonia graduate with a teaching degree.

John and Ruth have 12 children ranging in age from 9 to 29. The children were all home schooled. John freely credits his wife. “Thank goodness… Ruth has been fantastic with this.” John provided their children with real world experience working in the market – now including the youngest who helps with early morning loading and unloading.

Summer workers often return year after year, one is now in a seventh summer of employment. John cares about his employees – one who came with the market is now approaching 45 years at the Bemus Market.

John accommodates sports schedules, vacation plans, other job responsibilities, free time and the family time his employees request. Not an easy job since the summer rooster includes 12 or 13 young people, a 7-day-a-week schedule and store hours that range from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The flexibility to schedule his own family time and have family work with him are among his favorite features of ownership.

John knows his business, what sells and what people look for in a local convenience store. He appreciates his customers – regardless of the size of their order. The ice cream window was originally his dad’s idea. Over time it has become its own draw and a favorite destination. John sees all of Bemus Point as a family friendly, social place to vacation.

During the ‘off season’ John still spends hours at the store – processing venison and doing big game processing for locals who hunt out of the area but return to the Bemus Market to have their catch processed. He can recall doing elk, reindeer and even a bear. The season record for deer is 191 and the average deer processed each hear is about 100.

John Marsh, definitely more than merely the Man Behind the Market.

The Jamestown Gazette is proud to recognize our dealers, outstanding corporate citizens of our county. This week, the Gazette especially thanks Bemus Point Market for the faithfully carrying The Jamestown Gazette, The People’s Paper, for the benefit of their customers, our readers.