But from those ashes rose a new store. On Sept. 16, Ryan reopened Ryan's Food Mart at 200 Main St. in Parma.
The new 3500-square foot facility replaced a much older building. Ryan, along with two friends, Bud O'Dell and Jerry Chaney, did much of the construction and included all the amenities the grocer could design into the facility. "After 22 years you get an idea of what you do and what you don't want," said Ryan with a smile.
The new Ryan's Food Mart has wide aisles with lots of room for customers to make their selections. Of course, there is a full-range of groceries, produce, dairy products and meats but the new Ryan's Food Mart offers much, much more.
Ryan designed a black and white tiled front counter which includes check-out as well as the deli area. Here customers can have sandwiches made from the meats and cheeses available in the case or can pick up a plate lunch for eating in at the small area set aside for dining or take the food out.
Ryan's point of pride in the building is his smoker. Tucked just off the side of the deli area, the smoker is where he turns out some of his customer's favorite selections - smoked pork butts, ribs, pork steaks and chicken.
Ryan has barbecued meat as part of his business for many years. He started with a charcoal pit, upgrading several times. In his new building he created a state-of-the-art barbecue pit, which is the same used by Corky's Barbecue and others, he said. "Now the pit is all inside, you don't have to get out in the weather," he added.
The barbecue business has kept him busy. As part of the store, Ryan sells sides and butts or will provide customers with single servings and sandwiches. Also he does custom smoking for organizations and church functions.
Still working on the finishing details - he was waiting on the arrival of the refrigerated meat cases - Ryan said the town's 1,000 residents have welcomed the store's re-opening. Business has been good, he noted, keeping him and his five employees busy. He recently added the capabilities to accept Food Stamps and is working with the WIC program with plans to have the paperwork complete for that in November.
In addition to providing customers with a selection of groceries and deli selections, Ryan's Food Mart tries to find other ways to make small-town life a bit easier. Residents can rent-to-own a storage building or rent a carpet shampoo machine at the store. Next on his list for customer convenience is to find a line of video rentals.
He is thinking of other ways to expand the services at Ryan's Market and meet the needs of local residents. "Anything you can do in a small town that helps your business and helps your customers, you try to do," he explained.
Ryan's is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.