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Bridget Rayl makes mark as a maker

Bridget Rayl displays two trays of her homemade cookies in front of her Craft Riches shop within Rayl’s Market. Rayl’s Market is located at 246 W. Fourth St. in East Liverpool. Tray orders are being accepted until Dec. 10. (Photo by Stephanie Ujhelyi)

EAST LIVERPOOL — Bridget Rayl is a busy woman especially at holiday time.

Her family owns Rayl’s Market on Second Street, a neighborhood store reminiscent of the mom-and-pop corner shops that are such a rarity these days.

That barely scratches the surface of Rayl’s talents. An accomplished baker and a talented crafter, their neighbors and customers often can turn to Rayl for assistance.

That need could be for the perfect wall decor in that certain corner. If so, Rayl has her craft room in the back of the store as well as booths at Nana’s Primitives and the Canton Warehouse in Stark County.

Describing her decor style as farmhouse, Bridget explained that she makes 80 percent of her items at Rayl’s Craft Riches within the family shop. “It is everyday decor not just seasonal,” she added.

That need could be for a tray of cookies for delicious pastries for that holiday hostess. Rayl can handle those as well.

“I have been baking for 10 years,” Rayl said. “I took over the baking for the store from my mom.”

One of the best known of her cookies is her Buckeyes, which she has been making for 30 years. What makes hers different? While most people just dip theirs in the chocolate, Bridget envelopes hers in the chocolate.

While she does a myriad of bite sized sweets, she doesn’t do pies. However, she does things like fruit bowls, deli salads, vegetable trays and even baked hams with her own special glaze at Easter and Christmas.

It was nothing Rayl ever envisioned herself doing, she recalled. “I worked at James Locke Jewelers and then JCPenneys (before starting at the family store). I had never went to college. I am content here.”

Rayl sells her craft wares at one big show annually, after years of hitting around 30 craft shows per year on her circuit.

Her days of cutting wood and making candles are behind her, Rayl explained. She stocks other brands of candles that she likes and outsourcing the wood work.

Most of her work centers around finishing those pieces off, which take the form of everything from cabinetry to wall plaques.

The crafts, like the baking, around holiday time can become overwhelming, so she looks for help from her family.

While Bridget has her craft area and occupies a register near the deli-food preparation on one side of the store, she is equally as proud of the whole business. The store carries a wide selection of beer (domestic, imported and craft), wines and champagnes in addition to the basics you would find at your corner store in an emergency.

That need could be a holiday meal.

She shared that her family served 60 free Easter meals for their employees, customers and just the people who may either find themselves alone or in need within their extended family. She anticipated they would do the same for Thanksgiving, delivering the meals as far as Chester due to the pandemic.

Rayl’s Market, located at 246 W. Fourth St., is open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.

Orders of cookie trays and other tasty treats for Christmas are being accepted until Dec. 10. Any questions, call 330-385-1343.

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