Nahmy Bassett in the family’s one room store, early 1900’s.
Nahmy Bassett, an immigrant from Syria, opened his first small market in Oak Harbor, Ohio in 1898. His specialties included tobacco, candy, fruit, nuts, and above all, friendly and courteous service. Nahmy passed away in 1930 leaving the business to his wife Mary Bassett, who lived in a two–bedroom apartment above the store. Mary and her eldest son, Abe, took over operations of the store.
Despite having seven young children to raise, Mary worked 12–16 hours a day running the supermarket. She and Abe operated the store together until 1957, when her son Dick bought her share and became partners with his brother Abe.
Mary and Abe in Oak Harbor, circa 1954.
Abe and Dick in Oak Harbor, early 1960’s.
The two continued in Nahmy’s tradition of friendly and courteous service and soon became the largest of six competing supermarkets in Oak Harbor. In 1964 they built a new 7,500 SF store, and over the years enlarged it nine times until it ultimately reached 33,000 SF.
Abe and Dick for remodel ground breaking.
Abe retired in 1970, and Mike Bassett joined his father in 1974 after graduating from The Ohio State University. In 1986, the two opened a second store in Port Clinton, Ohio and Dick retired in 1987. In 1997, Mike Bassett sold the original Oak Harbor location and simultaneously started construction on a new 65,000 SF facility to replace the existing Port Clinton store.
The store offers comprehensive services including a coffee bar, fresh seafood and sushi, a state liquor store, a full–service pharmacy, health food center, an attached full–service hardware store, and one of the largest selections of wine and beer in the state.
In 2002, Mike purchased a second grocery store in Bellevue, Ohio. At 36,000 SF, the Bellevue operation offers the same variety and quality products of Port Clinton on a slightly smaller scale. Now well into its fourth generation, Bassett’s Market is recognized as one of the most progressive independent supermarket operators in the state of Ohio.