By Mike Ullery
TROY — It is fitting that one of the longest-operating retail stores in Miami County is located in the heart of one of the first settlements in the county. The Staunton Country Store is entering its 98th year of business with new owners.
Richard and Susan Parsons, of Troy, recently purchased the business from long-time owner Tony Mengos.
Mengos and his family have had a vested interest in the store and the community as their roots are deeply planted in the Staunton community.
“I’ve spent my whole life here,” Mengo recalled, “I got off the bus here when I was in school. My grandma (Gaier) was here then and she was watching me.” After graduating from Miami East High School, Mengos went off to college but eventually “came right back here” to work.
After 45 years at the helm, Mengos decided that it is time to retire. In doing so, he said what he will miss the most is the people.
“It’s amazing what you learn in here,” said Mengos.
The store is famous, at least locally for the quality of their sandwiches and pizza. With the “changing of the guard,” the Parsons family comes in with the philosophy of, why change something that works.
“We’ve lived here for 30 years,” said Richard Parsons, “When we heard that Tony was retiring, we wanted the store. It really is a jewel. It is a landmark that has been here for years.”
Parsons pointed out that in two years, 2025, the store will turn 100 years old.
Richard Parsons is a United States Air Force veteran who served our country for a number of years, including years as a crew chief aboard B-52 bombers as a part of Strategic Air Command. He continues to serve in a civilian capacity.
With the exception of installing a new floor, the Parsons plan to keep the same menu and service that has made The Staunton Country Store a destination for nearly a century.
“I hope that they (his customers) keep coming here,” Mengos said, “I’ve grown up here my whole life and you can’t beat it.”