Paul's Food Shoppe was a fixture in the Bexley community for nearly 70 years. The original owner, Paul Foltz, ran a fruit stand on the site until deciding he wanted to expand it into a full grocery. He and his wife Grace built the building, and the store opened in 1929. Tragically, Paul died in 1941, but Grace remarried and continued to run the store. In its early years, the store was on the trolley line to downtown Columbus, bringing people in from all around the area.
In 1972 the store was bought by Dave and Judy Beard. For years, they preserved what customers had grown to love about the store: the classic wood floors, the personal customer service, and above all the home delivery to customers not able to make it into the store. They delivered through all kinds of weather, including the Blizzard of 1978. This service helped keep them competitive as larger grocery store chains moved into the area. The business was also a favorite of Montrose Elementary School students, who would walk there after school to get candy for a penny or a nickel. The Beards retired and closed the store in 1997.
After Paul's Food Shoppe closed in 1997, the building housed Key Body & Fitness for six years. It then became the interim synagogue for the Torat Emet Congregation while their new synagogue was under construction on Main Street. It is now home to the Columbus Community Kollel. Although the glass tile facade is gone, the clock that hung over Paul's Food Shoppe for decades remains.
Photos Courtesy of Bexley Historical Society
“Paul's Food Shoppe Delivers No Matter What the Weather” by Wendy M. King, Bexley News, pages 1 and 9, February 23, 1994
“Paul's Food Shoppe in Bexley Goes Way of Trolleys That Once Served It” by Doral Chenoweth, Columbus Dispatch, Pages 6 and 7, November 17, 1997
“Beards to Retire From Paul's Food Shoppe” by Kevin Parks, This Week in Bexley, page 7, October 6, 1997
“Fitness Trainer plans to move, expand on Bexley's Outskirts” by Ina Horwitz-Whitmore, This Week in Bexley, August 17, 2006
“New Synagogue on East Main Street to open in February” by Gail Martineau, This Week in Bexley, December 18, 2008