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Small town store goes way beyond just groceries
Countryside Market in Bertrand puts a little extra meaning into what being a “full-service” grocery store means.
Owners, Brenda and Jerry Johnson manage a fully stocked grocery store that features fresh, local products and a variety of food products made in Nebraska in addition to standard fare. When the Johnsons purchased the grocery store in 2008, they also expanded the deli service and now serve between 15 and 30 lunches at noon and also dinners in the evening.
The flavorful Countryside Market potato bologna — the Johnsons have their own recipe and last year made some 2000 pounds of it — is gaining popularity as a meat product for the barbecue grill.
“We recommend simmering the ring bologna in water on top of the stove then splitting it and grilling it,” Brenda advises. “Serve with mustard or horseradish sauce.” She said they also make a potato bologna patty that customers like because it is full of flavor and is quick and easy to prepare. Brenda suggests beginning the cooking process for both products before they are completely thawed.
The potato bologna — it’s a Swedish tradition usually associated with the Christmas holidays — has acquired a national following and is shipped packed in ice to fans in Texas, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, and beyond.
In addition to grocery, meat and deli products, the Johnsons provide space for visitors to sit down and have a cup of coffee. Birthday clubs meet at the deli, as do card players and other groups who need a meeting place. Brenda said, “We will make the coffee, bake the cake and do the clean-up.” Space in the meeting room also is dedicated to made-in-Nebraska gifts. Hand carved wooden toys for children, original cards, paintings, knitted afghans, woven rugs, stained glass, 700 recipes from the best of Bertrand cooks, the original Bertrand Rodeo book, and many other gift items are for sale in the Countryside Market.
Who To Contact...
Brenda and Jerry Johnson
522 Minor Avenue
Bertrand, NE 68927-3840