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History of the Jekyll Market

Jekyll Island residents breathed a collective sigh of relief in 2012 as the news quickly spread around the island that there were new owners of the Jekyll Island Supermarket, which was in jeopardy of closing pending the retirement of owner, Marty Fender.  

Steve and Leigh Baumann, who had operated Jekyll Books at the Old Infirmary, and a collective family partnership with their daughter, Maggie Baumann, and relative, Matt McCown assumed ownership of the grocery in September 2012 without any lapse in service to the island and renamed the island grocery store the Jekyll Market.  

Maggie Baumann, managing partner of Store Operations, grew up on Jekyll Island. She adds “We appreciate the support of the Jekyll community so much and look forward to many more years of service.  We are excited to be the anchor tenant of the new Beach Village." 

Matt McCown, managing partner and Finance Officer,  notes “We were excited to be able to keep a market on the island for residents and to stock vacation rental homes for island visitors in addition to featuring a food hall atmosphere with multiple restaurant venues and gift items when we expanded the store to the new Beach Village location. 

The original location of the Jekyll Island Supermarket was in the old strip shopping center and was moved into temporary facilities during the construction period of the Beach Village.  The former shopping center was demolished to make room for the new Jekyll Island Convention Center.  

Partner, Steve Baumann, adds, “Following Marty Fender as owner of this business is an absolute honor. He has been a business leader, a good friend, and provided a wonderful level of service to the Jekyll community for many years. We all realized that we had large shoes to fill!”  

Fender purchased the store on January 1, 1973 from the previous owners, Bob and Beth Tarratus. His father, Carlton Fender, followed him over a year later to work on Jekyll after a long career in the grocery business in Jesup. Fender noted at his retirement, “The store has a long history, even before we took over, as it was opened in October 1959 by Dykes & Denmark from Hinesville.  Butch Bishop actually came over the year before I did to help out Mr. Tarratus and paved the way for us to buy the store. We have worked well together for over 40 years.”  Bishop has continued to operate Maxwell’s Variety & Hardware Store and expanded the variety store into the new village shopping center as neighbor to the Jekyll Market.

Partner, Leigh Baumann, adds, "We are delighted to be able to continue to serve our many friends and neighbors at the Jekyll Market.  We have been in retail since 2000 here with our former store, Jekyll Books, and we are able to see many familiar faces at the Jekyll Market."

Interested in learning more?
Jekyll Market partners, Steve and Leigh Baumann
Partner, Maggie Baumann, featuring delicious BBQ and Fried Wild Georgia Shrimp at the Love Shack at the Jekyll Market
Partner, Matt McCown and wife, Lindsey