For the last seven years, an average of 120,000 sandwiches were sold annually at The Ole Country Store. That’s about 330 sandwiches per day. To keep up with the demand, the store’s baker churns out over 20,000 loaves of bread annually.
“We’ve been so blessed and we appreciate the support so much. It blows my mind when I start looking at it, I’m like ‘man that’s just a lot of sandwiches,” Titus Helmuth, the store’s co-owner, said.
Including the first two months of this year, over 800,000 sandwiches have been made since the store opened at its current location. That count only includes made-to-order deli and breakfast sandwiches tracked through the point of sale system, which excludes the hundreds of barbecue sandwiches and donations to the local high school football teams.
About every other year, the store offers free sandwiches for a year to the lucky customer who makes the 100,000th purchase.
While the Mennonite-owned store has become well-known locally for its sandwiches, other offerings include baked goods, bulk food, groceries, an assortment of snacks, chocolate-covered candies and spices that may be hard to find elsewhere.
Helmuth and his brother-in-law Al Esh began planning to open the store during the economic downturn around 2008. Esh was not getting a lot of work in the construction business while Helmuth was hoping to move away from eastern Kentucky.
Helmuth has a few family members who run businesses similar to The Ole Country Store and he asked himself “why can’t I do it?” So, he moved to Virginia, partnered with Esh and opened the store in 2009 off Route 29. In 2014, The Ole Country Store significantly upgraded in size and moved down the road to its current location at 18019 Country Store Drive.
Since then, the staff has grown to about 40, and sandwiches have steadily flown out of the store’s doors.
That 120,000 average annual sandwich mark was even exceeded amid the coronavirus pandemic and Helmuth said “we’re well on our way to the million mark.”
“We’ve had tremendous support from the Culpeper community...We’ve been extremely grateful. Everybody’s been having a hard time but some people have had it way worse than what we did and we’re so grateful for that,” he said.