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Main Street Fixture Changes Hands: C&T Market’s Charlie Martha Says Goodbye After 40 Years

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Charlie Martha has been a downtown Harrodsburg staple for almost five decades, providing dependable service and hot meals for generations of Mercer County families.

Samuel Warren
Herald Staff

A staple of many Harro­dsburg residents’ day-to-day lives, the C&T Food Market has switched ownership beginning Jan. 1.

Charlie Martha began the business with his father Abe in August 1979, and he has spent more than 44 years providing the citizens of Harrodsburg with delicious treats, soups, sandwiches and much more.

Just a few years after beginning work at C&T. his father’s health had receded, meaning Charlie would be left with most of the respon­sibility in running the business. Just two years after that, Charlie and his wife, Joanne, opened a store closer to where they lived in Lexington.

Martha hasn’t had much time off over the last much four decades, running a business is very demanding and he would often work 100 hours a week, give or take, to keep the doors open.

“I’ve got a lot of stuff to catch up on in my own life,” Martha said. “Do a little bit of traveling, not as you much as my wife wants to, you know, but we’ll do some traveling,” Martha do joked. “I’m not the homebody, I’m sure after a few months I’ll get stir crazy and go get a part time job or something.”

He will be working with the property’s new owner, Sandy Patel, over the next 100 days, showing her the most efficient ways to make his recipes and working to ensure a successful transition to new leadership.

“He taught me a lot of stuff about the business and he gave me really good guidelines,” Patel said.

Patel added that all of C&T’s beloved deli items and recipes will remain in the store, and new items will be added to the shelves and menu as well.

For the rest of the story, check out this week’s edition of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe.


  1. Bonnie C Wyrick on January 12, 2024 at 9:53 am

    Will the Harrodsburg Herald ever return to county delivery on Thursday.

  2. Betsy Fleischer on January 12, 2024 at 1:47 pm

    Why the mistakes in this short piece? “health receded”? what does that mean? Do you mean health declined? Also…”over the last much four decades” What?? Also…” not as you much as my wife..” What?? Also…”Martha do joked.” What?? All of these mistakes makes me inclined to NOT read the full story. Charlie has been a boon to Mercer County. May he enjoy his non-commuting retirement. Thank you Charlie!

  3. Nicole on January 13, 2024 at 5:45 am

    There are several spelling and grammar mistakes in this story. This is a newspaper with journalistic standards, correct?

  4. Madonna on January 14, 2024 at 8:17 am

    In going to miss Charlie!! He’s a wonderful man that brought so much to the little town I grew up in.
    Hope you have a wonderful retirement and go enjoy life!!

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