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Michael#8217;s a favorite spot in Hanging Rock

HANGING ROCK — It’s 3 in the afternoon and the customers have formed a small line at the checkout counter at Michael’s Mini-mart.

“I come just about every day,” said Gary Hinds, of Franklin Furnace. “I just live down the road.”

Gary’s brother, Terry, was with him. He stops in just about every day, too.

“I wouldn’t want them to forget me,” he said with a grin.

Jeff Monnig, who lives on State Route 650, is a regular customer too. Why?

“This is a good place to buy beer,” he said matter-of-factly. “The beer’s always cold and it’s close to where I live.”

Situated at the intersection of U.S. 52 and State Route 650, Michael’s Mini-Mart has a little of everything. Besides the beer, the store offers snacks and soft drinks, milk, bread, household items and even work gloves.

Michael Citti, who owns the store that bears his name, is pleased to offer his customers just what they want: Convenience and customer service.

“I like the people,” he said when asked what he enjoys most about owning his mini-mart.

He bought the store seven years ago from Lynn and Betty Hopper. Back when it was Hopper’s Carryout.

Bobbie Burchett has worked as a cashier for a year and a half. She agrees with Citti that the patrons are the best part of her job.

“It’s always nice to see the friendly faces,” she said. “A lot of them come in on a daily basis even if they’re only buying a fifty-cent pack of gum. We know a lot of them on a first-name basis.”